Skip to main content

Full text of "Colonel Henry Ludington : a memoir"

See other formats


Hit HI 





H flDemoir 



A.M., L.H.D. 








Copyright, 1907, by 









I GENEALOGICAL .............. 3 



IV THE REVOLUTION ............. 77 

V SECRET SERVICE .............. 114 

VI BETWEEN THE LINES ........... 133 

VII AFTER THE WAR ............. 191 


INDEX .......... 230 



Grist mill at Fredericksburgh, now Kent (Ludingtonville post- 
office), built by Col. Henry Ludington about the time of the 
Revolution Frontispiece 

Old gun used by Henry Ludington in the French and Indian War 29 


Henry Ludington s commission, from Governor Tryon, as captain 
in Col. Beverly Robinson s regiment 30 

Old Phillipse Manor House at Carmel, N. Y., in 1846 36 

View of Carmel, N. Y 38 

Map of Quaker Hill and vicinity, 1778-80, showing location of 
Colonel Ludington s place at Fredericksburgh 50 

Letter from Committee on Conspiracies to Colonel Ludington . . 56 

Order of arrest from Committee on Conspiracies to Colonel Lud 
ington 58 

Maps of Phillipse patent, showing original divisions and territory 
covered by Colonel Ludington s regiment 60 

Henry Ludington s commission as colonel from Provincial Con 
gress, 1776 70 

Henry Ludington s commission as colonel from State of New 
York, 1778 72 

Letter from Abraham B. Bancker to Colonel Ludington about 
militia 74 

View of highroad and plains from site of Colonel Ludington s 
house 90 

Facsimile of Colonel Ludington s signature 102 

Letter from Col. Nathaniel Sackett to Colonel Ludington on secret 
service 114 



Home of the late George Ludington on site of Colonel Luding- 
ton s house 132 

Home of the late Frederick Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington, 
at Kent 134 

Mahoga ny table used by Colonel Ludington, at which, according to 
family tradition, Washington and Rochambeau dined .... 165 

Letter from Governor Clinton to Colonel Ludington about militia 170 
Pay certificate of a member of Colonel Ludington s regiment . . 188 

Colonel Ludington s tombstone at Patterson, formerly part of 
Fredericksburgh, N. Y 208 

Portrait of Frederick Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington . . 216 
Portrait of Gov. Harrison Ludington, grandson of Col. Ludington 218 

Old store at Kent, built by Frederick and Lewis Ludington about 
1808 220 

Home of the late Lewis Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington, at 
Carmel 222 

Portrait of Lewis Ludington, son of Colonel Ludington .... 224 

Portrait of Charles Henry Ludington, grandson of Colonel Lud 
ington 226 


THE part performed by the militia and militia offi 
cers in the War of the Revolution does not seem al 
ways to have received the historical recognition which 
it deserves. It was really of great importance, espe 
cially in southern New England and the Middle 
States, at times actually rivaling and often indis 
pensably supplementing that of the regular Conti 
nental Army. It will not be invidious to say that of 
all the militia none was of more importance or ren 
dered more valuable services than those regiments 
which occupied the disputed border country between 
the American and British lines, and which guarded 
the bases of supplies and the routes of communica 
tion. There was probably no region in which border 
land friction was more severe and intrigues more 
sinister than that which lay between the British in 
New York City and the Americans at the High 
lands of the Hudson, nor was there a highway of 
travel and communication more important than that 
which led from Hartford in Connecticut to Fishkill 
and West Point in New York. 

It is the purpose of the present volume to present 
the salient features of the public career of a militia 
colonel who was perhaps most of all concerned in 
holding that troublous territory for the American 


cause, in guarding that route of travel and supply, 
and in serving the government of the State of New 
York, to whose seat his territorial command was so 
immediately adjacent. It is intended to be merely a 
memoir of Henry Ludington, together with such a 
historical setting as may seem desirable for a just 
understanding of the circumstances of his life and its 
varied activities. It makes no pretense of giving a 
complete genealogy of the Ludington family in 
America, either before or after his time, but con 
fines itself to his own direct descent and a few of his 
immediate descendants. The facts of his life, never 
before compiled, have been gleaned from many 
sources, including Colonial, Revolutionary and 
State records, newspaper files, histories and diaries, 
correspondence, various miscellaneous manuscript 
collections, and some oral traditions of whose authen 
ticity there is substantial evidence. The most copious 
and important data have been secured from the 
manuscript collections of two of Henry Ludington s 
descendants, Mr. Lewis S. Patrick, of Marinette, 
Wisconsin, who has devoted much time and pains 
taking labor to the work of searching for and secur 
ing authentic information of his distinguished an 
cestor, and Mr. Charles Henry Ludington, of New 
York, who has received many valuable papers and 
original documents and records from a descendant 
of Sibyl Ludington Ogden, Henry Ludington s 
first-born child. It is much regretted that among 
all these data, no portrait of Henry Ludington 



is in existence, and that therefore none can 
be given in this book. In addition, the old 
records of Charlestown and Maiden, Massachu 
setts, and of Branford, East Haven and New 
Haven, Connecticut, the collections of the Connec 
ticut Historical Society, the early annals of New 
York, especially in the French and Indian and the 
Revolutionary wars, and the publications of the New 
England Genealogical Society, have also been util 
ized, together with the Papers of Governor George 
Clinton, Lossing s "Field Book of the Revolution," 
Blake s and Pelletreau s histories of Putnam County, 
Smith s "History of Dutchess County," Bolton s 
"History of Westchester County," and other works, 
credit to which is given in the text of this volume. It 
is hoped that this brief and simple setting forth of 
the public services of Henry Ludington during the 
formative period of our country s history will prove 
of sufficient interest to the members of his family and 
to others to justify the printing of this memoir. 


H /toemoir 



THIS family of the Ludingtons," says Gray in 
his genealogical work on the nobility and 
gentry of England, "were of a great estate, of whom 
there was one took a large travail to the seeing of 
many countries where Our Saviour wrought His 
miracles, as is declared by his monument in the Col 
lege of Worcester, where he is interred." The im 
mediate reference of the quaint old chronicler was to 
the Ludingtons of Shrawley and Worcester, and the 
one member of that family whom he singled out for 
special mention was Robert Ludington, gentleman, 
a merchant in the Levantine trade. In the pursuit of 
business, and also probably for curiosity and pleas 
ure, he traveled extensively in Italy, Greece, Turkey, 
Egypt and Syria, at a time when such journeyings 
were more arduous and even perilous than those of 
to-day in equatorial or polar wildernesses. In accord 
with the pious custom of the age he also made a pil 
grimage to Palestine, and visited the chief places 
made memorable in Holy Writ. He died at Worces 
ter at the age of 76 years, in 1625, a few years before 
the first colonists of his name appeared in North 
America. The exact degree of relationship between 



him and them is not now ascertainahle, but it is sup- 
posable that it was close, while there is no reason 
whatever for doubting that the American Luding- 
tons were members of that same family "of a great 
estate," whether or not they came from the particular 
branch of it which was identified with Shrawley and 

For the Ludington family in England antedated 
Robert Ludington of Worcester by many genera 
tions, and was established elsewhere in the Midlands 
than in Worcestershire. Its chief seat seems to have 
been in the Eastern Midlands, though its name has 
long been implanted on all the shires from Lincoln 
to Worcester, including Rutland, Leicester, Hunt 
ingdon, Northampton, and Warwick. There is a 
credible tradition that in the Third Crusade a Lud 
ington was among the followers of Richard Coeur de 
Lion, and that afterward, when that adventurous 
monarch was a prisoner in Austria, he sought to visit 
him in the guise of a holy palmer, in order to devise 
with him some plan for his escape. Because of these 
loyal exploits, we are told, he was invested with a 
patent of nobility, and with the coat of arms there 
after borne by the Ludington family, to wit ( accord 
ing to Burke s Heraldry) : Pale of six argent and 
azure on a chief, gules a lion passant and gardant. 
Crest, a palmer s staff, erect. Motto, Probum non 

Authentic mention of other Ludingtons, honor 
able and often distinguished, may be found from 


time to time in English history, especially in the an 
nals of Tudor and Stuart reigns. In the reign of 
Henry VIII a Sir John Ludington was a man of 
mark in the north of England, and his daughter, 
Elizabeth Ludington, married first an alderman of 
the City of London, and second, after his death, Sir 
John Chamberlain. In the sixteenth century, the 
Rev. Thomas Ludington, M.A., was a Fellow of 
Christ Church College, Oxford, where his will, dated 
May 28, 1593, is still preserved. In the next century 
another clergyman, the Rev. Stephen Ludington, 
D.D., was married about 1610 to Anne, daughter of 
Richard Streetfield, at Chiddington, Kent. After 
ward he was made prebendary of Langford, Lin 
coln, on November 15, 1641, and in June, 1674, re 
signed that place to his son, the Rev. Stephen Lud 
ington, M.A. He was also rector of Carlton Scrope, 
and archdeacon of Stow, filling the last-named place 
at the time of his death in 1677. His grave is to be 
seen in Lincoln Cathedral. His son, mentioned 
above, was married to Ann Dillingham in Westmin 
ster Abbey in 1675. 

It will be hereafter observed in this narrative that 
the family name of Ludington has been variously 
spelled in this country, as Ludington, Luddington, 
Ludinton, Ludenton, etc. Some of these variations 
have appeared also in England, together with the 
form Lydington, which has not been used here. 
These same forms have also been applied to the sev 
eral towns and parishes which bear or have borne the 


family name, and especially that one parish which is 
so ancient and which was formerly so closely identi 
fied with the Ludingtons that question has risen 
whether the parish was named for the family or the 
family derived its name from the parish. This place, 
at one time called Lydington, was first mentioned in 
the Domesday Book of William the Conqueror, 
where it was called Ludington whence we may 
properly regard that as the original and correct form 
of the name. It was then a part of the Bishopric of 
Lincoln and of the county of Northampton; Rut 
landshire, in which the place now is, not having been 
set off from Northampton until the time of King 
John. The Bishop of Lincoln had a residential 
palace there, which was afterward transformed into 
a charity hospital, and as such is still in existence. In 
the chapel of the hospital is an ancient folio Bible 
bearing the inscription "Ludington Hospital Bible," 
and containing in manuscript a special prayer for 
the hospital, which is regularly read as a part of the 
service. The name of Loddington is borne by par 
ishes in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, that 
of Luddington by parishes in Lincolnshire and War 
wickshire (the latter near Stratford-on-Avon and in 
timately associated with Shakespeare), and that of 
Luddington-in-the-Brook by one which is partly in 
Northamptonshire and partly in Huntingdonshire; 
all testifying to the early extent of the Ludington 
family throughout the Midland counties of England. 
The earliest record of a Ludington in America oc- 



curs in 1635. On April 6 of that year the ship Hope- 
well, which had already made several voyages to these 
shores, sailed from London for Massachusetts Bay, 
under the command of William Bundock. Her com 
pany of eleven passengers was notable for the youth- 
fulness of all its members, the youngest being twelve 
and the oldest only twenty-two years of age. Seven 
of them were young men, or boys, and four were 
girls. One of the latter, whose age was given as 
eighteen years, was registered on the ship s list as 
"Christiom" Ludington, but other records, in Lon 
don, show that the name, although very distinctly 
written in that form, should have been "Christian." 
Concerning her origin and her subsequent fate, all 
records are silent. In John Farmer s "List of An 
cient Names in Boston and Vicinity, 1630-1644," 
however, appears the name of "Ch. Luddington"; 
presumably that of this same young woman. Again, 
in the Old Granary burying ground in Boston, on 
Tomb No. 108, there appear the names of Joseph 
Tilden and C. Ludington; and a plausible conjec 
ture is that Christian Ludington became the wife of 
Joseph Tilden and that thus they were both buried in 
the same grave. But this is conjecture and nothing 
more. So far as ascertained facts are concerned, 
Christian Ludington makes both her first and her 
last recorded appearance in that passenger list of the 

The next appearance of the name in American 
annals, however, passing by the mere undated men- 



tion of one Christopher Ludington in connection 
with the Virginia colony, places us upon assured 
ground and marks the foundation of the family in 
America. William Ludington was born in England 
place not known in 1608, and his wife Ellen 
her family name not known was also born there in 
1617- They were married in 1636, and a few years 
later came to America and settled in the Massachu 
setts Bay colony, in that part of Charlestown which 
was afterward set off into the separate town of Mai 
den. The date of their migration hither is not prec 
isely known. Savage s "Genealogical Register" 
mentions William Ludington as living in Charles- 
town in 1642; which is quite correct, though, as Mr. 
Patrick aptly points out, the date is by no means con 
clusive as to the time of his first settlement in that 
place. Indeed, it is certain that he had settled in 
Charlestown some time before, for in the early re 
cords of the colony, under date of May 13, 1640, ap 
pears the repeal of a former order forbidding the 
erection of houses at a distance of more than half a 
mile from the meeting house, and with the repeal is 
an order remitting to William Ludington the penalty 
for having disobeyed the original decree. That 
restriction of building was, of course, a prudent and 
probably a necessary one, in the early days of the 
colony, for keeping the town compact and thus af 
fording to all its inhabitants greater security against 
Indian attacks. It seems to have been disregarded, 
however, by the actual building of some houses out- 



side of the prescribed line, and in such violation a 
heavy penalty was incurred. By 1640 the law be 
came obsolete. Boston had then been founded ten 
years. The colonies of New Hampshire, Rhode 
Island, and Connecticut had been settled and organ 
ized. And three years before the Pequods had been 
vanquished. It was therefore fitting to rescind the 
order, and to let the borders of Charlestown be en 
larged. We may assume that it was with a realiza 
tion that this would speedily be done that William 
Ludington, either at the very beginning of 1640 
or previous to that year, built his house on the for 
bidden ground, and thus incurred the penalty, which, 
however, was not imposed upon him; and we may 
further assume that it was this act of his which finally 
called official attention to the obsolete character of 
the law and thus brought about its repeal. In the 
light thus thrown upon him, William Ludington ap 
pears as probably a man of considerable standing in 
the community, and of high general esteem, else his 
disregard of the law would scarcely have been thus 

Reckoning, then, that William Ludington was 
settled in his house in the outskirts of Charlestown 
on the north side of the Mystic River, in what was 
later called Maiden before May 13, 1640, the date 
of his arrival in America must probably be placed as 
early as 1639, if not even earlier. He remained at 
Charlestown for a little more than twenty years, and 
was a considerable landowner and an important 



member of the community. Many references to him 
appear in the old colonial records, with some appar 
ent conflicts of date, which are doubtless due to the 
transition stage through which the calendar was then 
passing. Most of the civilized world adopted the 
present Gregorian calendar in the sixteenth century, 
but it was not until 1751 that Great Britain and the 
British colonies did so. Consequently during most of 
our colonial history, including the times of William 
Ludington, the year began on March 25 instead of 
January 1, and all dates in the three months of Jan 
uary, February and March (down to the 24th) were 
credited to a different year from that to which we 
should now credit them. In many cases historians 
have endeavored to indicate such dates with accuracy 
by giving the numbers of both years, thus: March 1, 
1660-61. But in many cases this has not been done 
and only a single year number is given, thus causing 
much uncertainty and doubt as to which year is 
meant. There were also other disturbances of chro 
nology, and other differences in the statement of 
dates, involving other months of the year ; especially 
that of two months difference at what is now the end 
of the year. Thus the birth of William Ludington s 
daughter Mary is variously stated to have occurred 
on December 6, 1642, December 6, 1642-43, Feb 
ruary 6, 1643, and February 6, 1642-43. Also the 
birth and death of his son Matthew are credited, 
respectively, to October 16, 1657, and November 12, 
1657, and to December 16, 1657, and January 12, 



1658. There is record of the purchase, on October 
10, 1649, of a tract of twenty acres of land at Mai 
den, by William Ludington, described in the deed as 
a weaver, from Ralph Hall, a pipe-stave maker, and 
also of the sale of five acres by William Ludington to 
Joseph Carter, a currier. The deed given by Ralph 
Hall is entitled "A Sale of Land by Ralph Hall 
unto William Luddington, both of Charlestowne, 
the 10th day of the 10th moneth, 1649," and runs as 
follows : 

Know all men by these presents, That I, Ralph 
Hall, of Charletowne in New England, Pipe 
stave maker, for a certaine valluable considera 
tion by mee in hand Received, by which I doe 
acknowledge myselfe to be fully satisfied, and 
payed, and contented; Have bargained, sould, 
given, and granted, and doe by these presents 
Bargaine, sell, give, and grant unto william Lud 
dington of Charletowne aforesayd, Weaver, 
Twenty Achors of Land, more or less, scituate, 
Lying, and Beeing in Maulden, That is to say, 
fifteen Acres of Land, more or less which I, the 
sayd Ralph formerly purchased at the hand of 
Thomas Peirce, of Charltowne, senior, Bounded 
on the Northwest by the land of Mr. Palgrave, 
Phisition, on the Northeast by the Lands of John 
Sybly, on the South Easte by the Lands of 
James Hubbert, and on the South west by the 
Land of widdow Coale, And the other five Acres 
herein mencioned sould to the sayd William, Are 
five Acres, more, or less, bounded on the south 
east by the Land of Widdow Coale aforesaid, on 


the southwest by Thomas Grover and Thomas 
Osborne, Northeast by the Ground of Thomas 
Molton, and Northwest by the forsayde fifeteen 
Acres: which five acres I formerly purchased of 
Mr. John Hodges, of Charltowne. To Have 
and to hould the sayd fifeteen acres, and five 
Acres of Lands, with all the Appurtenances 
and priviledges thereoff To Him, the sayd Wil 
liam Luddington his heigres and Assignees for 
ever: And by mee, the sayd Ralph Hall, and 
Mary my wife, to bee bargained sould, given,, 
and confirmed unto him, the sayd william, and his 
heigres and assignes for him, and them peasable 
and quietly to possess, inioy, and improve to his 
and their owne proper use and usses for ever, and 
the same by us by vertue hereoff to bee war- 
rantedtised (sic) mayntained, and defended 
from any other person or persons hereafter Lay 
ing clayme to the same by any former contract or 
agreement concerning the same: In witness 
whereof, I, the sayd Ralph Hall with Mary my 
wife, for our selves, our heires, executors and Ad 
ministrators, have hereunto sett our hands and 

Dated this Tenth day of December 1649. 

This is testified before the worshipfull Mr. 
Richard Bellingham. 

On November 30, 1651, William Ludington was 
mentioned in the will of Henry Sandyes, of Charles- 
town, as one of the creditors of his estate, and in 166O 
he was enrolled as a juror in Maiden. Early in the 
latter year, however, he removed from Maiden or 
Charlestown to the New Haven, Connecticut, col- 


ony, and there settled at East Haven, adjoining 
Branford, on the east side of the Quinnipiac River. 
Five years before there had been established at that 
place the first iron works in Connecticut. The raw 
material used was the rich bog ore which was then 
found in large quantities in the swamps of North 
Haven and elsewhere, precisely like that which at a 
still later date was abundantly found and worked in 
the swamps of southern New Jersey, where the name 
of "Furnace" is still borne by more than one village 
on the site of a long-abandoned foundry. This in 
dustry flourished at East Haven until about 1680, 
when the supply of bog ore was exhausted and the 
works were closed. Although William Ludington 
had been a weaver at Maiden, he appears to have 
been interested in these iron works, and indeed prob 
ably removed to East Haven for the sake of connect 
ing and identifying himself with them. But his 
career there was short. On March 27, 1660, evidently 
soon after his arrival there, he was complainant in a 
slander suit, and in either the same year or the next 
year he died, at the East Haven iron works. The 
manner of his death, whether from sickness or from 
accident, is unknown. But it evidently produced 
some impression in the community, since it is the only 
death specially recorded in the early annals of the 

The precise date of his death, even the year in 
which it occurred, is a matter of uncertainty. Mr. 
Patrick quotes a passage from the East Haven rec- 


ords which says: "In 1662 John Porter obtained a 
piece of land to set his blacksmith shop upon . . . 
and about the same time William Ludington died." 
Therefore he concludes that William Ludington 
died in 1662. But was it 1662 according to the chro 
nology of those times or according to that of our 
time? Wyman s records of Charlestown and Mai 
den, which mention William Ludington s departure 
thence for East Haven, relate that on October 1, 
1661, John White made petition for the appointment 
of an administrator of William Ludington s estate 
in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and Pope s 
"Pioneers of Massachusetts" confirms that record, 
giving the name of the petitioner as Wayte or Waite, 
and adding that the inventory of the estate was filed 
by James Barrat, or Barret, on April 1, 1662. Mr. 
Patrick has the name Bariat and the date February 
1, 1662. Here we have, then, the same discrepancy 
of exactly two months in statement of date which was 
noticed in the case of Matthew Ludington s birth 
and death. Of course, if the petition for administra 
tion of William Ludington s estate was made on 
October 1, 1661, his death must have occurred before 
that date, instead of in 1662 as the East Haven re 
cords suggest. The explanation of the apparent 
conflict of dates is doubtless to be found in the 
changes of calendar to which reference has been 
made, one historian giving the date according to the 
chronology then prevailing and another according to 
that of the present day. Concerning the date of the 


probating of his estate at East Haven, however, there 
is apparently no doubt, since in the records of it the 
dual year-dates are given. That estate was inven 
toried and appraised by John Cooper and Matthew 
Moulthrop, and their inventory, according to Hoad- 
ly s "New Haven Colonial Records," was filed in 
court at New Haven on March 3, 1662, according to 
the chronology of that time, or 1663 according to 
ours. This interesting document was entitled "An 
Inventory of ye Estate of William Ludington, late 
of New Haven, deceased, amounting to 183 and 
10s., upon Oath attested yt ye Aprizents was just 
to the best of their light, by John Cooper, Sen., 
and Matthew Moulthrop in Court at New Haven, 
166263." It ran in detail as follows: 

Inv ty & bd s, boulsters pillows, 
coverlits, rugs, cur 
tains value . . . 

^ sheets, pillow covers, table 
clothes and a blanket . 

^ five yards % of krosin . . 

^ four yards of red kersey . 

^ six yards of kersey . . . 

^ five yards of serze at 7s . 

sP eight yards blew kersey at 

$ twelve yards of serge at 6s 

$ l%th of wosted yarns . . 

$ l a /4th of woolen yarns . . 






sh d. 











Brought Forward, 




Inv ty $ 4 guns, 2 swords and a 

piece of a sword . . 




$ 3 chests and three boxes . 




$ pewter, chamber pots, 

spoons and 2 sauce 





$ 2 dripping pans, 1 cup, 4 

cream pots, some 

eartyn ware .... 




$ 3 bottles and a tu mill . . 




sP warming pan, 2 iron pots, 

kettle, brass pot 2 skil 

lets, frying pan . . 




$ iron dogs, tramell, share 

and coulter and a iron 





$ tooles, wedges, sithes & a 

payre of still yards & 

a 7lb waight . . . 




$ a smoothing iron, a parcell 

of wayles, a hogshead 

& 2 chests .... 




$ sheeps wooll and cotton 





" f Indyan corne, 7lb 10s; 10 

bush turnips, 18s . . 




" $ 2 loonies and furniture, 3 





3$ wooden ware, a table & 

forme, a sieve, some 

trenches & bagges . . 











Brought Forward, 



Inv ty $ house and land 60lbs . . 



3$ 3 cowes & two calves, 2 

sowes & 3 shoates . . 



$ 6 loads of hay, 50s, and 

some other thinges in 






The Estate Cr. . 



The Estate Dr 



Which being deducted there remains 


^ I 






The marke, i. e. of ) 

John Cooper, > Apprisers. 

Mathew Moulthrop, ) 

Again, in the "Records of the Proprietors of New 
Haven" we find that "At a Court held at New 
Haven March 3, 1662-3 ... an inventory of the 
Estate of Willm. Luddington deceased whas pre 
sented . . . The widdow upon oath attested to the 
fulness of it to the best of her knowledge. . . . The 
widdow being asked if her husband made noe will 
answered that she knew of none for she was not at 
home when he died . . . The matter respecting the 
childrens portions was deferred till next court & the 
. . . widdow with him that shee was to marry & all 
her children above fourteen years of age was ordered 
then to appear . . ." At this date, therefore, Wil 
liam Ludington s widow was engaged to be married 
again, and that engagement was publicly announced. 


Moreover, she was actually married to her second 
husband, John Rose, a few weeks later, for on May 5 
following, in 1662-63, according to the "Proprietors 
Records," the court was again in session, and "John 
Rose who married widdow Ludington was called to 
know what security he would give for the childrens 
portions that was not yet of age to receive them." It 
is true that in those days the period of mourning be 
fore remarriage was sometimes abbreviated, but it is 
scarcely conceivable that this widow s marriage took 
place within a few months of her husband s death, or 
sooner than a year thereafter. It may therefore be 
assumed that William Ludington s death, at the 
East Haven iron works, occurred at least as early as 
March or April, 1661-62. 

There is reason to believe that William Ludington 
was not only a man of note in the East Haven com 
munity but that also he was a man of considerable 
property more than would be suggested by the item 
of "house and land 60 Ibs." in the inventory. For 
the New Haven Land Records show that in 1723 his 
son, William Ludington, 2nd, sold to Thomas Robin 
son "part of that tract of land set out to my father, 
William Luddington, which tract contains 100 
acres." This property was in East Haven, just 
across the river from Branford. 

The children of William and Ellen Ludington 
were seven in number. The first was Thomas, who 
was born (probably in England) in 1637. He re 
moved to Newark, New Jersey, in 1666, and became 



a farmer since when in 1689 he sold some land with 
a house and barn at New Haven he described himself 
in the deed as a husbandman. He was an assessor 
and a surveyor of highways at Newark, and left chil 
dren whose descendants are now to be found in the 
northern part of New Jersey. His oldest child, 
John, remained at New Haven, married, and had 
issue, his first-born, James, being a soldier in the 
French and Indian war and being killed in battle on 
September 8, 1756. The second child of William and 
Ellen Ludington was John Ludington, who was 
born (probably at Charlestown, Massachusetts) in 
1640. He was living at East Haven in 1664, and 
afterward, Mr. Patrick thinks, removed to Vermont. 
The third child was Mary, of whose birth various 
dates are given, as already noted. The fourth was 
Henry Ludington, the date of whose birth is not 
known, but who was killed in the war with King 
Philip, at the end of 1675 or beginning of 1676, as 
appears in the "New Haven Probate Records," 
where is found an inventory of the estate of "Henry 
Luddington late of N. haven slayne in the warre 
taken & apprised by Mathew Moulthrop & John 
Potter Janry. 3, 1676." The fifth child was Han 
nah, the dates of whose birth and death are unknown. 
The sixth child was William Ludington, 2nd, who 
was born about 1655 and died in February, 1737. 
His first wife was Martha Rose, daughter of his step 
father, John Rose, and his second was Mercy White- 
head. According to Dodd s "East Haven Register " 


he was a man of means, of intelligence, of ability, and 
of important standing in the community. He had 
two sons and one daughter by his first wife, and two 
sons and six daughters by his second. His first-born, 
the son of Martha Rose, was Henry Ludington, who 
was born in 1679, was a carpenter, married Sarah, 
daughter of William Collins, on August 20, 1700, 
had eight sons and four daughters, and died in the 
summer of 1727 of whom, or of his descendants, we 
shall presently hear much more. Finally, the sev 
enth child of William and Ellen Ludington was 
Matthew, who as already related was born at Maiden 
and died in infancy. Despite the removal of Thomas 
Ludington to Newark, and that of John Ludington 
(probably) to Vermont, they appear to have re 
tained much interest in the New Haven colony, since 
in the "Colony Record of Deeds" of Connecticut we 
find Thomas, John, and William Ludington enum 
erated among the proprietors of New Haven in 
1685, who were, presumably, the above mentioned 
first, second, and sixth children of William and 
Ellen Ludington. 

Recurring for a moment to the family of William 
Ludington, 2nd, and passing by for the time his 
first-born, Henry Ludington, it is to be observed 
that his second child, Eleanor, married Nathaniel 
Bailey, of Guilford, Connecticut, and had issue; his 
third, William Ludington, 3rd, married Anna 
Hodge, lived at Waterbury and Plymouth, Connec 
ticut, and had issue, his sixth son, Samuel, serving in 



the French and Indian war, and his grandson, Tim 
othy, son of William 3rd s first-born, Matthew, also 
serving in that war and being killed in battle at East 
Haven in the War of the Revolution; the fourth, 
Mercy, married Ebenezer Deanes or Dains, of Nor 
wich, Connecticut, and had issue; the fifth, Mary, 
married John Dawson, of East Haven, and had 
issue; the sixth, Hannah, married Isaac Penfield, of 
New Haven, and had issue ; the seventh, John, mar 
ried Elizabeth Potter, and had issue, his son Jude 
serving in the French and Indian war; the eighth, 
Eliphalet, married Abigail Collins, and had issue, his 
third son, Amos, serving in the French and Indian 
war; the ninth, Elizabeth, died in childhood; the 
tenth, Dorothy, married Benjamin Mallory and had 
issue ; and the eleventh, Dorcas, married James Way 
and had issue. 

Returning now to Henry Ludington, eldest son of 
William Ludington, 2nd, who was the sixth child of 
the original William Ludington, it is to be observed 
that his first child, Daniel, married first Hannah 
Payne, and second Susannah Clark, and had issue, 
his second child, Ezra, serving in the French and In 
dian war, and his ninth, Collins, in the War of the 
Revolution; his second, William Ludington, mar 
ried first Mary Knowles, of Branford, and second 
Mary Wilkinson, of Branford, and had issue of 
whom we shall hereafter hear much more ; his third, 
Sarah, died in childhood; his fourth, Dinah, married 
Isaac Thorpe; his fifth, Lydia, married Moses 


Thorpe; his sixth, Nathaniel, married first Mary 
Chidsey, and second Eunice (Russell) Smith, and 
had issue ; his seventh, Moses, married Eunice Chid 
sey; his eighth, Aaron, died at sea; his ninth, Elisha, 
died in infancy ; his tenth, also named Elisha, settled 
in Phillipse Precinct, Dutchess County, New York, 
married, and had a daughter, Abigail, of whom more 
hereafter; his eleventh, Sarah, probably died unmar 
ried, though Dodd s "East Haven Register" says 
she married Daniel Mead ; and his twelfth, Thomas, 
was drowned, unmarried. 

Turning back, once more, to the William Luding- 
ton last mentioned, who was the second son of Henry 
Ludington, we find that he was born at Branford, 
Connecticut, on September 6, 1702. He married 
Mary Knowles, of Branford, on November 5, 1730. 
She died on April 16, 1759, and on April 17, 1760,- 
just a day after the year of mourning had elapsed! 
he married for his second wife Mary Wilkinson, also 
of Branford. His eight children, all of his first wife, 
were as follows : First, Submit, who married Stephen 
Johnson, of Branford; second, Mary; third, Henry, 
of whom we shall hear more, since he forms the chief 
subject of this book; fourth, Lydia, who married 
William (or, according to Dodd, Aaron) Buckley, of 
Branford; fifth, Samuel; sixth, Rebecca; seventh, 
Anne ; and eighth, Stephen. On the night of Mon 
day, May 20, 1754, part of William Ludington s 
house at Branford was destroyed by fire, and his 
sixth and seventh children, Rebecca and Anne, aged 


seven and four years, respectively, perished in the 

Attention is thus finally centered upon the second 
Henry Ludington, who was the third child of Wil 
liam Ludington, who was the second child of the first 
Henry Ludington, who was the first child of the sec 
ond William Ludington, who was the sixth child of 
the first William Ludington, who was the founder of 
the Ludington family in America. The sources of 
information concerning him and his career, which 
have been mentioned in the preface to this volume, 
are varied and numerous rather than copious or com 
prehensive ; but they are sufficient to indicate that he 
was a man of more than ordinary force of character 
and of more than average importance and influence 
in his time and place, and that he is entitled to re 
membrance and to enrolment among those who con 
tributed materially, and with no little sacrifice of self, 
to the making of the State of New York and of the 
United States of America. 

jl^ cu :/i: 

fi^.L^ a J^^L! Cvvt 

rt^A^^s? orM^^-v 1 -- ^ 
>tu-w4.^-<~ "> T 



HENRY LUDINGTON, the third child of 
William and Mary (Knowles) Ludington, 
was born at Branford, Connecticut, on May 25, 
1739. Some records give the date as 1738, but the 
weight of authority indicates the later year. Bran- 
ford, originally called Totoket, was a part of the 
second purchase at New Haven in 1638, but was not 
successfully settled until two years later, when a dis 
satisfied company from Wethersfield, headed by 
William Swayne, secured a grant of it. Together 
with Milford, Guilford, Stamford, Southold (Long 
Island), and New Haven, it made up the separate 
jurisdiction of New Haven, under an ecclesiastical 
government, until 1665, when all were merged into 
the greater Colony of Connecticut, Branford being 
erected into an organized town with representation 
in the General Court, in 1651. The place won last 
ing distinction in 1700, when it was the scene of the 
practical founding of Yale College; ten ministers, 
who had been named as trustees of "The School of 
the Church," each laying upon the table in their 
meeting-room a number of books, with the words, "I 
give these books for the founding of a college in this 


colony." The next year the college was chartered 
and was formally opened at Saybrook, and in 1716- 
17 it was permanently removed to New Haven. At 
the time of Henry Ludingtori s birth, therefore, New 
Haven had become fully established as the metropolis 
of that part of the colony, and Branford, which had 
at first been its peer and rival, had become reconciled 
to the status of a suburban town. The educational 
facilities of Branford were similar to those of other 
colonial towns; to wit, primitive in character and 
chiefly under church control. To what extent young 
Ludington availed himself of them does not appear, 
but so far as may be judged from his letters and 
other papers in after years he was an indifferent 
scholar, probably thinking more of action than of 

Such as his schooling was, however, it was ended 
at an early date and the school-boy became a man of 
action when only half-way through his teens. The 
epoch-making struggle commonly known as the 
French and Indian War, which was really a part of 
the Seven Years War in Europe, and which secured 
for the English absolute dominance in North Amer 
ica and transformed the maps of two continents, be 
gan when he was fifteen years old, and made a strong 
appeal to his adventurous and daring disposition; 
and at an early date, probably in 1755, though the 
meager records now in existence are not conclusive 
on that point, he enlisted in those Colonial levies 
which formed so invaluable an adjunct to the regular 


British Army in all the campaigns of that war. No 
complete roster of the Connecticut troops is now in 
existence, but the "East Haven Register" tells us 
that many men from East Haven and Branf ord were 
enlisted for service with the British Army near the 
Great Lakes, of whom the greater part were lost 
through sickness and in battle. In these levies were 
several members of the Ludington family, beside 
Henry Ludington. Our genealogical review has al 
ready indicated the service in that war of James, 
Ezra, Timothy, Samuel, Jude, and Amos Luding 
ton, uncles and cousins of Henry Ludington. As 
some of the Ludingtons had, years before the war, 
removed from Connecticut to Dutchess County, New 
York, some members of the family were also among 
the troops from the latter region. Old records tell 
that in Captain Richard Rea s Dutchess County 
regiment were two young farmers, Comfort Loudin- 
ton and Asa Loudinton obviously meaning Lud 
ington respectively 19 and 17 years old; the former 
with brown eyes and dark complexion, the latter with 
brown eyes and fresh complexion. 

Henry Ludington enlisted in Captain Foote s 
company of the Second Connecticut Regiment, a 
notable body of troops which was put forward to 
bear much of the brunt of the campaign. The regi 
ment was at first commanded by Colonel Elizur 
Goodrich, and later by Colonel Nathan Whiting, one 
of the most distinguished Colonial officers of that 
war. The regiment was assigned to duty under 



Major-General (afterward Sir) William Johnson, 
who, with a Colonial army and numerous Indian 
allies under the famous Mohawk chieftain Hendrick, 
was moving to meet the French at Lake George. 
The march from New Haven was made by way of 
Amenia and Dover, in Dutchess County, New York, 
to the Hudson River, and thence northward to the 
"dark and bloody ground" of the North Woods. 
Young Ludington was of a lively and venturesome 
disposition and, as family traditions show, had a pro 
pensity to practical joking which more than once put 
him in peril of not undeserved punishment, which, 
however, he managed to avoid. 

It was early in September, 1755, when he was in 
only his seventeenth year, that the young soldier re 
ceived his "baptism of fire" in the desperate battle of 
Lake George, near the little sheet of water afterward 
known as Bloody Pond because of the hue its water 
took from the gory drainage of the battlefield. Gen 
eral Johnson, with his Colonial troops and Indian 
allies, was moving northward. Baron Dieskau, with 
a French and Indian army, moving southward, em 
barked at Fort Frederick, Crown Point, came down 
the lake in a fleet of small boats, and landed at 
Skenesborough, now Whitehall. On the night of 
Sunday, September 7, word came to Johnson that 
the enemy was marching down from Fort Edward to 
Lake George, and early the next morning plans were 
made to meet them. It was at first suggested that 
only a few hundred men be sent forward to hold the 


enemy in check until the main army could dispose 
and fortify itself, but Hendrick, the shrewd Mohawk 
warrior, objected to sending so small a force. "If 
they are to fight," he said, "they are too few; if they 
are to be killed, they are too many." Accordingly 
the number was increased to 1,200, comprising and, 
indeed, led by the Connecticut troops. Colonel 
Ephraim Williams, a brave and skilful officer, was in 
command, with Colonel Nathan Whiting, of New 
Haven, as his chief lieutenant. They came upon the 
enemy at Rocky Brook, about four miles from Lake 
George, and found the French and Indians arrayed 
in the form of a crescent, the horns of which extended 
for some distance on both sides of the road which 
there led through a dense forest. The devoted Col 
onial detachment marched straight at the center of 
the crescent, and was quickly attacked in front and 
on both flanks at the same time. Williams and Hen 
drick were among the first to fall, and their followers 
were cut down in great numbers. Thereupon Col 
onel Whiting succeeded to the general command, and 
perceiving that the Colonials were outnumbered and 
outflanked, ordered a retreat, which was skilfully 
conducted, with little further loss. When the army 
was thus reunited, hasty preparations were made to 
meet the onslaught of the foe, and at noon the con 
flict began in deadly earnest. The forces were com 
manded, respectively, by Johnson and Dieskau in 
person, until the former was disabled by a wound, 
when his place was taken by General Lyman, who 


fulfilled his duties with singular ability and success. 
After four hours of fighting on the defensive, the 
English and Colonials leaped over their breastworks 
and charged the foe with irresistible fury. The 
French and Indians were routed with great slaugh 
ter, and Baron Dieskau himself, badly wounded, was 
taken prisoner. 

Old gun used by Henry Ludington in the French and Indian War. Now 

owned by Frederick Ludington, son of the late Governor 

Harrison Ludington, of Wisconsin. 

(From sketch made by Miss Alice Ludington, great-great-granddaughter 
of Henry Ludington. 

Henry Ludington was in the thickest of both parts 
of this battle, having been in the detachment which 
was sent forward in advance. He came off un 
scathed, but he had the heartrending experience of 
seeing both his uncle and his cousin shot dead at his 
side. These were probably his uncle Amos Luding 
ton (called Asa in the "East Haven Register," as al 
ready noted), son of Eliphalet Ludington, and his 
cousin Ezra, son of Daniel Ludington. The uncle 
fell first, pierced by a French bullet. The cousin 
sprang to his side and stooped to lift him, and in the 
act was himself shot, and a few moments later both 
died. Soon after this battle the term of enlist 
ment of the Connecticut militia expired, but reenlist- 


ments were general. According to the French and 
Indian War Rolls, and the Connecticut Historical 
Collections as searched by Mr. Patrick, Henry Lud- 
ington again enlisted on April 19, 1756, served under 
Colonel Andrew Ward at Crown Point, and was dis 
charged at the expiration of his term on November 
13, 1756. Again, he was in Lieutenant Maltbie s 
company, under Colonel Newton, at the time of the 
"general alarm" for the relief of Fort William Hen 
ry, in August, 1757, on which occasion his time of 
service was only fifteen days. Finally, he was in the 
campaign of 1759, in the Second Connecticut Regi 
ment, under Colonel Nathan Whiting, being a mem 
ber of David Baldwin s Third Company. In this 
year he enlisted on April 14, and was duly discharged 
on December 21, 1759. During this memorable 
period of service the young soldier marched with the 
British and American troops to Canada, and partici 
pated in the crowning triumph at Quebec, on Sep 
tember 13, 1759, and a little later was intrusted with 
the charge of a company of sixty wounded or invalid 
soldiers, who were to return to New England. The 
march was made across country, from Quebec to Bos 
ton, in the dead of the very severe winter of 1759-60,, 
and the labors and perils of the journey were suffi 
cient to tax to the utmost the skill and resourcefulness 
of the youth of only twenty years. For many nights 
their camp consisted of caves or burrows in the snow 
drifts, where they slept on beds of spruce boughs, 
wrapped in their blankets. Provisions failed, too., 



and some meals were made of the bark and twigs of 
birch trees and the berries of the juniper. Through 
all these hardships young Ludington led his com 
rades safely to their destination. Then, in the spring 
of 1760, he proceeded from Boston to Branford, and 
thus terminated for the time his active military 
career. In recognition of his services he received 
from King George II the commission of a lieutenant 
in the British Colonial Army, which he held until, in 
the succeeding reign, news came of the enactment of 
the Stamp Act, when he resigned it. Later, on Feb 
ruary 13, 1773, he accepted a captain s commission 
from William Tryon, the last British governor of 
New York, which he held until the beginning of the 
Revolution. This commission was in the regiment 
commanded by Beverly Robinson, that eminent Brit 
ish Loyalist who was the intermediary between Sir 
Henry Clinton and Benedict Arnold. It was at 
Robinson s country mansion that much of Arnold s 
plotting was done, and it was there, while at dinner, 
that the traitor received the news of the failure of his 
treason through the capture of his agent, Major 

One other incident of Henry Ludington s service 
demands passing attention. In one of the returns of 
his regiment, in connection with the fifteen days ser 
vice in August, 1757, he is recorded as "Deserted." 
Generally speaking, no worse blot than that can well 
be put upon a soldier s record. But it is quite ob 
vious that in this case it is devoid of its usual serious 



significance. It is certain that he did not actually 
desert in the ordinary present meaning of that term. 
This we know, because there is no record nor intima 
tion of any steps ever being taken to punish him for 
what would have been regarded as a heinous crime; 
because soon after that entry against him he was 
serving with credit in the army and continued so to 
do ; because thereafter he was intrusted with the im 
portant march to Boston which has been described; 
and because, after having honorably completed his 
service in the army, he received a royal commission as 
an officer. In those early days, when an army was 
campaigning in an almost trackless wilderness and 
warfare was largely of the most irregular description, 
it was not difficult for a soldier to become detached 
and practically lost from the rest of his army, and 
perhaps not be able to rejoin it for some time. Such 
a mishap might the more easily have befallen an im 
petuous and adventurous youth such as Henry Lud- 
ington was. And of course the record "Deserted" 
might naturally enough have been put against his 
name when he failed to respond to roll-call and no 
explanation of his absence was forthcoming. 

In the French and Indian War the Colonial troops 
were paid for their services by the various Colonial 
governments, which latter were afterward reim 
bursed for such expenditures by the British Govern 
ment. It was, however, with a view to compelling 
the Colonies to bear the cost of the war, by levying 
taxes upon them at the will of Parliament, that the 


British Government entered upon the fatal policy 
which a few years later cost it the major part of its 
American possessions. Because of that change of 
government, no pension system was ever created for 
the veterans of that war. In 1815, however, near the 
close of Henry Ludington s life, such pensions were 
proposed, and with a view to establishing his eligibil 
ity to receive one, in the absence of the authoritative 
records of the Connecticut troops, he secured from 
two of his former comrades in arms the following 
affidavits here reproduced verbatim et literatim: 

State of New York 
Putnam County 

Jehoidah Wheton, of the town of Carmell in 
said county, being duly sworn doth depose and 
say that he is now personally acquainted with 
Henry Ludington, who lives in the Town of 
Fredericks in said county and that the deponent 
has known him for many years past. The de 
ponent knows that the above named Henry Lud 
ington was in the service in the years 1756 and 
1757 under the King s pay, and belonged to the 
State troops of Connecticut, and that the de 
ponent was personally acquainted with the said 
Henry Ludington during the service above 
stated, and the deponent was with him the two 
campaigns, and further the deponent saith that 
from certain information which he the deponent 
knows to be true from the above named Henry 
Ludington of certain transactions which took 
place in the year 1759 to me the deponent now 



told he verrily believes that the said Henry Lud- 
ington was in the service that year, and that the 
deponent places confidence in the truth and verac 
ity of the said Henry Ludington, and the de 
ponent saith that he together with the above 
named Henry Ludington was under Capt. Foot 
in Colonel Nathan Whiting s Ridgement in the 
service aforesaid ; and further this deponent saith 




Sworn and subscribed the 14th day of September 
1815 before me John Phillips, one of the masters 
in the cort of Chy. in and for sd. State. 

I, John Byington, of Redding in Fairfield 
County and State Connecticut, of lawful age de 
pose and say 

that I am well acquainted with Henry Luding 
ton of Fredericks, state of New York, that he en 
listed under the King s proclamation and served 
with the Connecticut troops in the war with 
France, three campaigns, in the company of 
Capt. Foot, under whom I also served; that he 
rendered the above service between the year 1756 
& 1764, and further say not. 

John Byington. 

State Connecticut, County Fairfield, Ss. Red 
ding the 15th day of September 1815 personally 
apperd John Byington the above deponent & 
made oath to the truth of the above deposition. 
LEMUEL SANFORD, Justice Peace. 


Both of the foregoing affidavits or depositions are 
taken from copies of the originals, made by Lewis 
Ludington, son of Henry Ludington, on September 
19, 1815, and now in possession of Lewis Luding- 
ton s son. 

We have seen that Henry Ludington, at the age 
of twenty-one, escorted a company of invalided sol 
diers from Quebec to Boston in the winter of 1759- 
60, and thereafter returned to civil life. One of his 
first acts was to get married, his bride being his 
cousin, Abigail Ludington, daughter of his father s 
younger brother, Elisha Ludington. As already 
noted, Elisha Ludington upon his marriage had re 
moved from Connecticut to Dutchess County, New 
York, and had settled in what was known as the 
Phillipse Patent. The exact date of that migration 
is not recorded, but it was probably some years be 
fore the French and Indian war. As the Connecticut 
troops on their way to that war marched across 
Dutchess County, through Dover and Amenia, it is 
to be presumed that Henry Ludington on that mo 
mentous journey called at his uncle s home, and saw 
his cousin, afterward to be his wife, who had been 
born on May 8, 1745, and was at that time conse 
quently a child of about ten years. Whether they 
met again until his return from Quebec is not surely 
known, but we may easily imagine the boy soldier s 
carrying with him into the northern wilderness an 
affectionate memory of his little cousin, perhaps the 
last of his kin to bid him good-by, and also her cher- 



ishing a romantic regard for the lad whom she had 
seen march away with his comrades. At any rate, 
their marriage followed close upon his return, taking 
place on May 1, 1760, when he was not yet quite 
twenty-one and she just under fifteen. Soon after 
ward the young couple, apparently accompanied by 
the rest of Henry Ludington s immediate family, re 
moved to Dutchess County, New York, to be there 
after identified with that historic region. 

Dutchess County was one of the twelve counties 
into which the Province of New York was divided 
on November 1, 1683, the others being Albany, 
Cornwall (now a part of the State of Maine), 
Duke s (now a part of Massachusetts) , King s, New 
York, Orange, Queen s, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster, 
and Westchester. Dutchess then comprised what is 
now Putnam County, which was set off as a separate 
county in 1812 and was named for General Israel 
Putnam, who was in command of the forces there 
during much of the Revolutionary War. In 1719 
Dutchess County was divided into three wards, 
known as Northern, Middle, and Southern, each ex 
tending from the Hudson River to the Connecticut 
line. Again, in 1737, these wards were subdivided 
into seven precincts, called Beekman, Charlotte, 
Crom Elbow, North, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, and 
Southeast; and at later dates other precincts, or 
towns, were formed, to wit: North East in 1746; 
Amenia in 1762; Pawlings in 1768; and Fredericks- 
town in 1772. Fishkill and Rombout were also con- 




... 13 


stituted in colonial times. Frederickstown, where 
the Ludingtons settled and with which we have most 
to do, was a part of the Phillipse Patent, in the 
Southern Ward of Dutchess County, now Putnam 
County. It derived its name from Frederick Phil 
lipse, a kinsman of Adolphe Phillipse, the patentee 
of Phillipse Manor or Patent. It has now been di 
vided and renamed, its old boundaries comprising 
the present towns of Kent, Carmel, and Patterson, 
and a part of Southeast, the present village of Pat 
terson occupying the site of the former Fredericks- 
burgh. The name of Kent was taken from the family 
of that name, of which James Kent, the illustrious 
jurist and chancellor of the State of New York, was 
a member. It may be of interest to recall at this 
point, also, that a certain strip of land at the eastern 
side of Dutchess County was in dispute between 
New York and Connecticut. This was known as 
The Oblong, or the Oblong Patent, from its config 
uration, and comprised 61,440 acres, in a strip about 
two miles wide, now forming parts of Dutchess, Put 
nam, and Westchester counties and including part 
of the Westchester town of Bedford, and also Quaker 
Hill, near Pawling, in Dutchess County, which was 
once suggested as the capital of the State, and which 
gets its name from having been first settled by Quak 
ers. The dispute over the New York- Connecticut 
boundary and the consequent ownership of this land 
arose before 1650, when the Dutch were still owners 
of New York, or New Netherlands as the latter was 


then called, and it was continued between the two 
Colonies when they were both under British rule. 
The settlement was effected by confirming New 
York in possession of The Oblong, and granting to 
Connecticut in return a tract of land on Long Island 
Sound, eight miles by twelve in extent, which was 
long called the "Equivalent Land," and which is now 
occupied by Greenwich, Stamford, and other towns. 
The final demarcation of the boundary was not, how 
ever, effected until as late as 1880. 

The precise date of Henry Ludington s settlement 
in Dutchess County is not now known. Neither his 
nor his father s name appears in the 1762 survey of 
Lot No. 6 of the Phillipse Patent, and it has been as 
sumed that therefore his arrival there must have been 
at a later date than that. This reasoning must, how 
ever, be challenged on the ground that as we shall 
presently see on March 12, 1763, he was officially 
recorded as a sub-sheriff of Dutchess County. It is 
scarcely likely that he would have been appointed to 
that office immediately upon his arrival in the county, 
and we must therefore conclude that he settled there 
at least early in 1762, if not before that year. He 
made his home on a tract of 229 acres of land in 
Frederickstown, at the north end of Lot No. 6 of the 
Phillipse Patent, on the site of what was afterward 
appropriately, though with awkward etymology, 
called Ludingtonville. This land he was not able to 
purchase outright, but leased for many years from 
owners who clung to the old feudal notions of tenure ; 



rt . 

a CD ^ 


but at last, on July 15, 1812, he effected actual pur 
chase and received title deeds from Samuel Gouver- 
neur and his wife. On that property he built the first 
grist- and saw-mills in that region, there being no 
others nearer than the "Red Mills" at Lake Mahopac 
and those built by John Jay on the Cross River, in 
the town of Bedford, Westchester County which 
latter, by the way, remained in continuous operation, 
with much of the original framework and sheathing, 
until 1906, when they were destroyed to make room 
for one of the Croton reservoirs. Ludington s mills 
were of course operated by water power, generated 
by a huge "overshot" wheel, supplied with water con 
veyed from a neighboring stream in a channel or 
mill-race made of timber. 

Near-by stood the house, which was several times 
enlarged. The main building was two stories in 
height, with an attic above. Through the center ran 
a broad hall, with a stairway broken with a landing 
and turn. At one side was a parlor and at the other a 
sitting or living room, and back of each of these was 
a bedroom. The parlor was wainscoted and ceiled 
with planks of the fragrant and beautiful red cedar. 
Beyond the sitting room, at the side of this main 
building, was the "weaving room," an apartment un 
known to our modern domestic economy, but essen 
tial in colonial days. It was a large room, fitted with 
a hand-loom, and a number of spinning wheels, 
reels, swifts, and the other paraphernalia for the 
manufacture of homespun fabrics of different kinds. 



This room also contained a huge stone fireplace. 
Beyond it, at the extreme east of the house, was the 
kitchen, with its great fireplace and brick or stone 
oven. The house fronted toward the south, and com 
manded a fine outlook over one of the picturesque 
landscapes for which that region is famed. Years 
ago the original house was demolished, and a new 
one was built on the same site by a grandson, George 
Ludington. The location was a somewhat isolated 
one, neighbors being few and not near, and the near 
est village, Fredericksburgh, on the present site of 
Patterson, being some miles distant. The location 
was, however, important, being on the principal route 
from Northern Connecticut to the lower Hudson 
Valley, the road leading from Hartford and New 
Milf ord, Connecticut, through Fredericksburgh, past 
Colonel Ludington s, to Fishkill and West Point 
a circumstance which was of much interest and im 
portance to Colonel Ludington in the Revolution, as 
we shall see. The population of the county at that 
time was small and scattered. In 1746, or about the 
time when Elisha Ludington went thither and Abi 
gail Ludington was born, the census showed a popu 
lation of 8,806, including 500 negro slaves. By 1749 
the numbers had actually diminished to 7,912, of 
whom only 421 were negroes. In 1756, however, 
there were 14,148 inhabitants, including 859 negroes, 
and Dutchess was the most populous county in the 
colony, excepting Albany, which had 17,424 inhabi 
tants. The county was at that time able to contribute 


to the army about 2,500 men. It had enjoyed ex 
emption from the Indian wars which had ravaged 
other parts of the colony, and its situation and nat 
ural resources gave it the advantages of varied in 
dustries. It had the Hudson River at one side for 
commerce, it was well watered and wooded, its open 
fields were exceptionally fertile, it had abundant 
water-power for mills, and it had though this was 
not realized until after the colonial period much 
mineral wealth. 

Such was the community in which Henry Luding- 
ton established himself at the beginning of his man 
hood and married life, and in which he quickly rose to 
prominence. The extent of his holdings of land, and 
the fact of his proprietorship of important mills, 
made him a leading factor in business affairs, while 
his bent for public business soon led him into both 
the civil and the military service. At that time, from 
1761 to 1769, James Livingston was sheriff of 
Dutchess County, and early in 1763 Henry Luding- 
ton became one of his lieutenants, as sub-sheriff. The 
Protestant dynasty in England was so newly estab 
lished that elaborate oaths of abjuration and fealty 
were still required of all office-holders, of whatever 
rank or capacity, and on March 12, 1763, Henry 
Ludington, as sub-sheriff, took and subscribed to 
them, as follows: 

I, Henry Ludington, Do Solemnly and Sin 
cerely, in the Presence of God, Profess, Testify, 


and Declare, That I do Believe, that in the Sacra- 
ment of the Lord s Supper, there is not any 
Transubstantiation, of the Elements of Bread 
and Wine, in the Body and Blood of Christ at or 
after the Consecration Thereof, by any Person 
whatsoever. And that the Invocation, or Adora 
tion, of the Virgin Mary, or Any other Saint, and 
the Sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now Used 
in the Church of Rome, are Superstitious and 
Idolatrous, and I do Solemnly in the presence of 
God, Profess, Testify, and Declare, that I make 
this Declaration, and Every Part thereof, in the 
plain and Ordinary Sence of the Words read to 
me, as they are Commonly Understood by Eng 
lish Protestants, Without any Evasion, Equivoca 
tion, or Mental Reservation whatsoever, and With 
out any Dispensation Already Granted to me for 
this purpose by the Pope, or any other Authority 
Whatsoever, or Without Thinking that I am Ac 
quitted, before God or Man, or Absolved of this 
Declaration, or any Part thereof, Although the 
Pope, or any Person or Persons, or Power What 
soever, Should Dispence with or Annul the same 
and Declare that it was Null or Void, from the 

I, Henry Ludington, do Sincerely Promise & 
Swear, that I will be faithful and bear true Al 
legiance to his Majesty King George the Third, 
and I do Swear that I do from my heart Abhor, 
Detest, and Abjure, as Impious and Heretical, 
that Damnable Doctrine and Position, that 
Princes Excommunicated and Deprived by the 
Pope, or Any Authority of the See of Rome, 
May Be Deposed by Their Subjects or any other 


Whatsoever, and I do Declare that no Foreign 
Prince, Person, Prelate, State or Potentate hath 
or ought to have, any Jurisdiction, Power, Supe 
riority, Pre-eminence, or Authority Ecclesiastical 
or Spiritual, Within this Realm, and I do Truly 
and Sincerely acknowledge and profess, Testify 
and Declare, in my conscience before God and 
the World, That Our Sovereign Lord King 
George the Third of this Realm, and all other 
Dominions and Countrys Thereunto Belonging, 
and I do Solemnly and Sincerely Declare, that I 
do believe in my conscience that the person pre 
tended to be Prince of Wales During the Life of 
the Late King James the Second, and since his 
Decease, Pretending to be and Taking upon him 
self the Stile and Title of King of England, by 
the Name of James the Third, or of Scotland by 
the name of James the Eighth, or Stile and Title 
of the King of Great Britain, hath not any right 
or Title whatsoever, to the Crown of this Realm, 
or any other Dominions Thereunto Belonging, 
and I do Renounce, Refuse, and Abjure, any Al 
legiance or Obedience to him, and I do Swear, 
that I will bear Faith, and True Allegiance to his 
Majesty King George the Third and him will 
defend, to the utmost of my Power, against all 
Traiterous Conspiracies and Attempts Whatso 
ever, which shall be made Against his Person, 
Crown or Dignity, and I will do my Utmost En 
deavors to Disclose and Make Known to his 
Majesty and his Successors all Treasons and 
Traiterous Conspiracies which I shall know to be 
against him, or any of them, and I faithfully 
promise to the Utmost of my Power to Support, 
Maintain and Defend the Successors of the 


Crown against him the said James and all other 
Persons Whatsoever, Which Succession by an 
Act entitled An Act for the further Limitation 
of the Crown Limited to the Late Princess 
Sophia, Electress and Dowager of Hanover, and 
the Heirs of Her Body, being Protestants, and 
all these things I do plainly and Sincerely Ac 
knowledge and Swear according to the Express 
words by me spoken and according to the Plain 
and Common Sence and Understanding of the 
same Words Without any Equivocation, Mental 
Evasion, or Sinister Reservation Whatsoever, 
and I do make this Recognition, Acknowledge 
ment, Abjuration, Renunciation and Promise 
heartily, Willingly and Truly, upon the True 
Faith of a Christian. So help me, God! 

Thus qualified by the taking of these oaths, Henry 
Ludington began public services which lasted, in one 
capacity and another, for more than a generation in 
the Colony and State of New York. The first entry 
in his ledger bears date of "May, A.D. 1763," and 
runs as follows: "James Livingston Sheriff Dr to 
Serving county writs (seven in number) the price 
for serving each writ being from lls. 9d. to <l 
109." There follow, under dates of October, 1763, 
and May, 1764, entries for serving other writs. 
Among the names of attorneys in the suits appear 
those of Cromwell, Livingston, Jones, Snedeker, 
Ludlow, Snook, and Kent ; and among those of par 
ties to suits, etc., are those of Joseph Weeks, Jacob 
Ellis, Uriah Hill, Jacob Griffen, George Hughson, 


Ebenezer Bennett, and Joseph Crane. In 1764 first 
appears the name of Beverly Robinson, as the plain 
tiff in a suit against one Nathan Birdsall. There is 
also mention of a suit brought in the name of the 
"Earl of Starling" as plaintiff before the Supreme 
Court of the colony probably William Alexander, 
or Lord Stirling, the patriot soldier of the Revolu 

At this home in Frederickstown the children of 
Henry and Abigail Ludington, or all of them but 
the eldest, were born. These children, with the dates 
of their births, were as follows, as recorded by Henry 
Ludington in his Family Register, which was in 
scribed on a fly-leaf of the ledger already quoted : 

Sibyl, April 5, 1761. 

Rebecca, January 24, 1763. 

Mary, July 31, 1765. 

Archibald, July 5, 1767. 

Henry, March 28, 1769. 

Derick, February 17, 1771. 

Tertullus, Monday night, April 19, 1773. 

Abigail, Monday morning, February 26, 1776. 

Anne, at sunset, March 14, 1778. 

Frederick, June 10, 1782. 

Sophia, May 16, 1784. 

Lewis, June 25, 1786. 

Of these it is further recorded in the same register 
that Sibyl was married to Edward Ogden (the name 
is elsewhere given as Edmund or Henry Ogden) on 



October 21, 1784; that Mary was married to David 
Travis on September 12, 1785; that Archibald was 
married to Elizabeth - on September 23, 1790; 
and that Rebecca was married to Harry Pratt on 
May 7, 1794. 




IN order justly to appreciate the circumstances in 
which Henry Ludington and his young family 
found themselves about fifteen years after his return 
from the French and Indian war, it will be desirable 
to recall briefly the political and social conditions 
generally prevailing throughout the Colonies at that 
time, which were nowhere more marked than in New 
York City and the rural counties lying just north of 
it. During the two or three years before the actual 
declaration of American independence, or secession 
from England, the people of the Colonies were di 
vided into two parties, the Patriots and the Loyalists 
or Tories. The latter maintained the right of Eng 
land to govern the Colonies as she pleased, and re 
garded even a protest against the maladministration 
of George Ill s ministers as little short of sacrilege. 
The former were by no means as yet committed to the 
idea of American separation from the mother coun 
try, but they were most resolute in their demand for 
local self-government, and for government according 
to the needs of the Colonies rather than the caprices 
of English ministers. When they first placed the 
legend "Liberty and Union" upon their colonial flag, 
and called it the "Grand Union Flag," they had in 



mind liberty under the British constitution and con 
tinued union with England. Nevertheless, antago 
nism between the two parties became as bitter as ever 
it was between Roundhead and Cavalier in Stuart 
days; and while in some respects Boston and Phila 
delphia figured more conspicuously in the pre-revolu- 
tionary agitation and operations than did New York, 
there was probably no place in all the Colonies where 
the people were more evenly and generally divided 
between the two parties, or where passions rose higher 
or were more strongly maintained, than in and about 
the last-named city. No ties of neighborliness, friend 
ship, or even family relationship sufficed to prevent or 
to quell the animosities which arose over the political 
interests of the Colonies. Nowhere had the Patriots a 
more ardent or persuasive leader than young Alex 
ander Hamilton, or the Tories a more uncompromis 
ing champion than Rivington, the printer, whose of 
fice was at last sacked and gutted by wrathful Pa 
triots. An illuminating side-light is thrown upon 
the New York state of mind by an item in the New 
York "Journal" of February 9, 1775, as follows: 

A company of gentlemen were dining at a 
house in New York. One of them used the word 
Tory several times. His host asked him, "Pray, 
Mr.- -, what is a Tory?" He replied, "A Tory 
is a thing whose head is in England, and its body 
in America, and its neck ought to be stretched!" 

Nor were these passions by any means confined to 
the urban but not always urbane community on 



Manhattan Island. They prevailed with equal force 
in the rural regions of Westchester and Dutchess 
counties. During the Revolutionary War that bor 
der region, between the British garrison on Manhat 
tan Island and the American strongholds in the 
Highlands of the Hudson, was the fighting ground 
of the belligerents, and was also unmercifully harried 
and ravaged by the irregular succors of both sides, 
the "Cow Boys" and "Skinners," and others, cele 
brated in the unhappy Andre s whimsical ballad of 
"The Cow Chase." Patriots from Westchester 
County were foremost among those who wrecked 
Kivington s Tory printing shop, and an aggravated 
sequel to the item just cited from the New York 
"Journal" is provided in the annals of Dutchess 
County a little later in the same year. At that time 
a County Committee, or Committee of Safety of 
which we shall presently hear much more had been 
formed in that county, for the purpose of holding the 
Tories in check, and it had forcibly deprived some 
men of their arms and ammunition. The despoiled 
Tories made appeal to the Court of Common Pleas 
for redress, and James Smith, a justice of that court, 
according to a contemporary narrative, "undertook to 
sue for and recover the arms taken from the Tories 
by order of said committee, and actually committed 
one of the committee who assisted at disarming the 
Tories ; which enraged the people so much that they 
rose and rescued the prisoner, and poured out their 
resentment on this villanous retailer of the law." The 



"resentment" seems to have been poured out of buck 
ets and pillows, for we are told that Justice Smith 
and his relative, Coen Smith, were "very handsomely 
tarred and feathered, for acting in open contempt of 
the resolves of the County Committee!" 

In or near that part of Dutchess County in which 
Henry Ludington lived a third small but not insig 
nificant factor was involved in the problem. This 
was provided by the members of the Society of 
Friends, who were settled at Quaker Hill, near 
Pawling, in The Oblong. This was the first com 
munity in America to abolish negro slavery, in 1775, 
and on that account it was probably regarded with 
some suspicion. But worse still was the regard given 
to it in the strife between Patriots and Tories. There 
can be little doubt that the sentiments and wishes of 
the Quakers were largely with the Patriots. Yet 
their religious principle of non-resistance forbade 
them to take up arms or to engage in forcible conflict 
of any kind. They were therefore generally looked 
upon by the Patriots as Tories, and were on that ac 
count sometimes fined and otherwise punished, while 
on the other hand, the Tories made themselves free to 
quarter troops upon them and to demand aid of them 
at will. On the whole, however, they appear to have 
commanded the respect of the Patriots, for their sin 
cerity, and thus to have been far more leniently 
dealt with than were the more militant Tories outside 
the Society of Friends. 

The earliest organization of the Patriots in and 


k_ L 

., uj 

% i : 

-si .* 

,^- - , n 1 

" fa 

sr ^ .. - 



- ^- 



xT i 

^- 1 " . i . 



t ^ p - 


~^ ; * \ _ 

m / 





K s 

J / ..\--.f~~ . 


tj ,.4 




V - ; > 3k ; " 


.|"i " - ---" H ^" .-^__.___i_ 




~-f * "* * 



- ^- ;: v~ X, 


, ^ "- " t* 



* -i-J**^* * s .-- ** 

QC 1 

> * TJ^CT^;-? 



... . .k 



r ^-A>L*:,. :\j 



k - 



p 5 ^ 





in s 


about New York was a Committee of Vigilance, the 
chief functions of which were to watch for oppressive 
acts of the British Government and incite colonial 
protests against them. This was in 1774 superseded 
by a Committee of Fifty-One, and it in turn in the 
same year gave place to a Committee of Inspection, 
of sixty members. In both of these latter John Jay, 
who was a neighbor and friend of Henry Ludington, 
was conspicuous, and it is to be presumed that Henry 
Ludington himself was either a member of the com 
mittees or at least was in active sympathy with their 
work. In April, 1775, came a crisis and the turning 
point in the movement for independence. The old 
Colonial Assembly of New York went out of exist 
ence on April 3. Then came the news of the first 
clash of arms at Lexington and Concord, acting as a 
spark in a powder-magazine. "Astonished by ac 
counts of acts of hostility in the moment of expecta 
tion of terms of reconciliation," said the lieutenant- 
governor of New York in his account of the occur 
rence, "and now filled with distrust, the inhabitants 
of the city burst through all restraint on the arrival of 
the intelligence from Boston, and instantly emptied 
the vessels laden with provisions for that place, and 
then seized the city arms and in the course of a few 
days distributed them among the multitude, formed 
themselves into companies and trained openly in the 
streets ; increased the number and power of the com 
mittee before appointed to execute the association of 
the Continental Congress, convened themselves by 



beat of the drum for popular resolutions, have taken 
the keys of the custom house by military force; shut 
up the port, drawn a small number of cannon into the 
country; called all parts of the country to a Pro 
vincial Convention ; chosen twenty delegates for this 
city, formed an association now signing by all ranks, 
engaging submission to committees and congresses, 
in firm union with the rest of the continent, and 
openly avow a resolution not only to resist the acts of 
Parliament complained as grievances, but to with 
hold succors of all kinds from the troops and to repel 
every species of force, wherever it may be exerted, 
for enforcing the taxing claims of Parliament at the 
risk of their lives and fortunes." This only half co 
herent but wholly intelligible and graphic narrative 
tells admirably how the Patriot sentiment of New 
York startled into life and action. A year later it 
was forcibly repressed by the British garrison on 
Manhattan Island, but in the counties at the north it 
continued dominant and triumphant. 

The "association now signing by all ranks" was 
promptly entered into by Henry Ludington and his 
neighbors in Dutchess County, as the following 
transcript, from the MS. collection of Mr. Patrick, 
shows, the date of the original being April 29, 1775 : 

A General Association agreed to and sub 
scribed by the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the 
County of Dutchess : 

Persuaded: That the Salvation of the Rights & 
liberties of America depends, under God, on the 


firm Union of its Inhabitants in a Vigorous Pro 
secution of the Measures necessary for its Safety; 
and Convinced of the Necessity of preventing the 
Anarchy & Confusion which attend the Dissolu 
tion of the Powers of Government, We, the Free 
holders and Inhabitants of the County of Dut- 
chess, being greatly alarmed at the avowed 
Design of the Ministry to raise a Revenue in 
America, and shocked by the bloody Scene now 
acting in the Massachusetts Bay, Do, in the most 
solemn Manner, Resolve, never to become Slaves ; 
and do associate under all the Ties of Religion, 
Honour and Love to our Country, to adopt and 
endeavor to carry into execution, whatever Meas 
ures may be recommended by the Continental 
Congress, or resolved upon by our Provincial 
Conventions, for the Purpose of preserving our 
Constitution and opposing the execution of the 
several arbitrary and oppressive Acts of the Brit 
ish Parliament, until a Reconciliation between 
Great Britain and America, on Constitutional 
Principles (which we most ardently desire) can 
be obtained : And that we will in all things, follow 
the Advice of our General Committee, respecting 
the Purposes aforesaid : the Preservation of peace 
and good Order and the Safety of Individuals, 
and private property. 

Mathew Paterson Malcolm Morison 

Joseph Chandler Alexr. Kidd 

Comfort Ludinton Henry Ludinton 

Ruben Miers Elijah Oakley 

James Dickinson Junr. William alkin. 

Isaiah Bennett David Atkins 

Stephen Baxter. 



One other signature is illegible. Those of the two 
Ludingtons are clear and firm. 

The new Provincial Congress of New York met in 
the New York City Hall on May 22, 1775, and re 
mained in session until May 29, its most important 
act being the adoption of the following resolution : 

Resolved, That it be and hereby is recom 
mended to all counties in this colony (who have 
not already done it) to appoint County Commit 
tees and also sub-committees for their respective 
townships and districts without delay, in order to 
carry into execution the resolutions of the Con 
tinental and this Provincial Congress ; And that 
it is also recommended to every inhabitant of this 
colony who has neglected to sign the general asso 
ciation to do it with all convenient speed, and for 
this purpose that the committees in the respective 
counties do tender the said association to every in 
habitant within the several districts in each coun 
ty; And that the said committees and persons 
respectfully do return the said associations and 
the names of those who shall refuse to sign the 
same to this Congress by the 15th day of June 
next, or sooner if possible. 

This obviously "meant business." It compelled 
every inhabitant of the colony to align himself, either 
with the Patriots or with the Loyalists; with a cer 
tainty that if he chose the former, he would be held as 
a traitor by the British Government, and if he chose 
the latter, he would be subject to whatever pains and 
penalties his incensed Patriot neighbors might see 



iit to impose upon him. Into the work thus recom 
mended by the Congress, Henry Ludington entered 
with zeal and ardor. He was at the head of the local 
committee, in Fredericksburgh Precinct, and also a 
member of the Dutchess County Committee, among 
his colleagues being John Jay, William Duer, Jac 
obus Swartwout, and other eminent Patriots. 

How vigorously and unsparingly these committees 
went to work will appear if we anticipate for a 
moment the chronological record by a year. On a 
motion offered by John Jay on June 16, 1776, the 
Provincial Congress of New York declared guilty of 
treason, with the penalty of death, all persons inhab 
iting or passing through the colony, or state, as it 
then began to be called, who should give aid or com 
fort to the enemy. A week later the Continental 
Congress adopted a similar resolution. It does not 
appear that this penalty was ever actually imposed, 
but the terror of it was held as a powerful measure of 
restraint over the Tories. Again, at Conner s tavern, 
at Fishkill, Dutchess County, on October 8, 1776, 
there was organized a secret committee "for inquir 
ing into, detecting and defeating conspiracies . . . 
against the liberties of America," with full power to 
send for persons and papers, call out the militia, and 
arrest or expel persons regarded as dangerous to 
the state, apparently without any judicial process. 
Thereafter numerous parties of suspects were sent in 
by the various local committees, including men, 
women, and children. All who consented to sign an 



oath of allegiance to Congress were dismissed. The 
others were variously dealt with. Some were exiled 
from the State, some were imprisoned, and some re 
leased on parole, to remain near Fishkill within call 
and surveillance of the committee. The chairman of 
this committee was William Duer, and if Henry 
Ludington was not actually among its members he 
was certainly one of its most trusted and efficient 
agents. It continued in existence and action until 
February 27, 1777, when it was dissolved by the 
State Convention and was replaced by a Board of 
Commissioners. Two minutes of the proceedings of 
this committee will serve the double purpose of show 
ing the character of its activities and the part which 
Henry Ludington played in executing its decrees. 
The first is dated only four days after the organiza 
tion of the committee : 

In Committee appointed by a Resolution of 
the Convention of the State of New York for en 
quiring into, detecting and defeating all Conspir 
acies which may be form d in the said State 
against the Liberties of America. Fish Kill 
Octr. 12. 1776. 

This Committee taking into Consideration 
Coll. Ludington s Letter respecting Thomas 
Menzes Esqr. received yesterday- 
Ordered that Coll. Ludington carry into Exe 
cution the former Orders of this Committee re 
specting Thomas Menzes Esqr. in such manner 
as to him shall appear most prudent. 

Ordered that the Secretary transmit to ColL 


, *? Vtrrrm/ effl 


Reduced Fac-similf= of Letter, from Committee on Conspiracies, 
to Col. Henry Ludingtnn. 

(Original in posseRsion of Charles H. Lxidington. New York City ) 


Ludington by Express a Copy of the above 

Extract from the Minutes, 

A. W. D. PEYSTER Secry. 

The second is dated eight days later : 

warrant from commit e to aprhend sundry per 

In Committee of the Convention of the State 
of New York appointed for enquiring into, de 
tecting and defeating all Conspiracies which may 
be form d in the said State against the Liberties 
of America. Fish Kill Octr. 20, 1776. 

Whereas this Committee did on the 17th inst. 
resolve that the following persons, Inhabitants 
of South East and Frederick Precincts in the 
County of Dutchess, should forthwith be dis- 
arm d apprehended and secured, to witt, Uriah 
Townsend, Ebenezer Rider, Charles Cullen*, 
Barns Hatfield, Uriah Wright, Joseph Hitch 
cock, Eli Crosby, Dr. Daniel Bull*, Charles 
Theal, and Gilbert Dickeson o 

Ordered that Coll. Luddington do forthwith 
apprehend and bring before this Committee the 
above mentioned Persons and that he secure the 
Papers of such whose Names are mark d with an 
Asterisk in order that the same be examined by 
this Committee. 

Ordered that Capt. Clarke detach Leut. 
Haight with a Party of 15 Men, to repair to Coll. 
Luddington and to follow such orders as they 
may receive from him. 

Signed by Order of the Committee, 

WM. DUER Chairman. 


In the margin of this warrant, which is here copied 
from the original in the possession of Charles H. 
Ludington, are these additional names : 

oDaniel Babbit Jeremiah Birch Junr. David 
Nash Samuel Towner William Merrit Thomas 
Carl* Daniel Brundage Moses Fowler. 

The Charles Cullen mentioned in the warrant was 
a brother-in-law of the distinguished jurist, Chancel 
lor Kent. 

In order to understand clearly the geographical 
scope of the operations already and hereafter cred 
ited to Henry Ludington, the division of that part 
of Dutchess County into precincts should here be 
explained, with the aid of a map. The reference is 
to that southern part of Dutchess County which was 
afterward set off, as at present, into Putnam County. 
From 1737 down to March 24, 1772, it was known as 
the South Precinct. On the latter date it was divided 
into three longitudinal strips, that along the Hudson 
being called Phillipse, or Philipsburgh Precinct ; that 
in the central and east central part being called Fred- 
ericksburgh Precinct; and the smallest strip at the 
extreme east, consisting of part of The Oblong 
hitherto mentioned, being known as South East Pre 
cinct. It may be added, in anticipation of the narra 
tive, that on March 17, 1788, these names were 
changed to Philipstown, Frederickstown, and South 
East, respectively; that on March 17, 1795, the towns 
of Carmel and Franklin were formed from Freder- 


ReducEd Fac-similE nf nrder of arrest issued by 
Wrn, Duer, Chairman of Committee an ConspiraciES, nf the "Provincial Congress 

af the State of New York" to Col. ftenry Ludington, 
(Original paper in possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City.) 


ickstown, and the remainder of the last named was 
called Fredericks; that on April 6, 1808, Franklin 
was changed to Patterson, and on April 15, 1817, 
Fredericks was changed to Kent. It may further be 
explained that the Philipsburgh Precinct was sub 
divided into two nearly equal longitudinal strips, and 
the one along the Hudson River was again divided 
laterally into three parts, making four lots in all, 
which were numbered from 1 to 4, and which in the 
partition of the original Phillipse Patent were ap 
portioned as follows: No. 1, at the extreme south 
west, Susannah Robinson; No. 2, next at the west 
center, Philip Phillipse; No. 3, at the northwest, 
Mary Phillipse; and No. 4, the long strip inland 
from the river, Susannah Robinson. The Freder- 
icksburgh Precinct was likewise divided into three lon 
gitudinal strips, and the easternmost of them into three 
laterally, making five lots in all, numbered from 5 to 
9, and these were apportioned as follows : No. 5, the 
long strip next to No. 4 of Philipsburg, to Mary 
Phillipse ; No. 6, a long strip next to No. 5, to Philip 
Phillipse; No. 7, a "short lot" at the northeast, to 
Susannah Robinson; No. 8, a short lot at the east 
center, to Philip Phillipse; and No. 9, a short lot at 
the southeast, to Mary Phillipse. When, as we shall 
presently see, Henry Ludington became colonel 
commanding a militia regiment, his territorial com 
mand included all of these nine lots excepting Nos. 7 
and 8. He was thus of all the militia commanders 
nearest to the seat of government when it was at 



Fishkill, and was brought much into contact with 
state officials there. 

Appreciating the important part which the militia 
would play in the conflict which was then seen to he 
impending and inevitable, the Provincial Congress 
of New York, in session at New York City on Au 
gust 22, 1775, adopted an elaborate measure for the 
enlistment, organization and equipment of such 
troops. Every county, city, manor, town, precinct, 
and district within the colony was to be divided by a 
local committee into districts or beats, in such a man 
ner that in each beat might be formed one military 
company, ordinarily to consist of eighty -three able- 
bodied men and officers, between the ages of sixteen 
and fifty afterward sixty years. Not less than 
five nor more than ten such companies were to form 
a regiment, and the regiments were to be organized 
into brigades. One brigade was to be formed of 
the militia of Dutchess and Westchester counties, 
commanded by a brigadier-general. It was also 

That every man between the ages of 16 and 50 
do with all convenient speed furnish himself with 
a good Musket or firelock & Bayonet Sword or 
Tomahawk, a Steel Ramrod, Worm, Priming 
Wire and Brush fitted thereto, a Cartouch Box to 
contain 23 rounds of cartridges, 12 flints and a 
knapsack agreeable to the directions of the Con 
tinental Congress under forfeiture of five shill 
ings for the want of a musket or firelock and of 
one shilling for want of a bayonet, sword or 


Map of Philipse patent, showing- original divisions 

Map showing territory (shaded portion) covered by 
Colonel Ludington s regiment 


tomahawk, cartridgebox, cartridge or bullet. 
That every man shall at his place of abode be also 
provided with one pound of powder and three 
pounds of bullets of proper size to his musket or 

There were numerous additional prescriptions, 
concerning discipline and drill, the duties and re 
sponsibilities of officers, and the penalties to be im 
posed for non-compliance. In case of any alarm, 
invasion or insurrection, every man thus enrolled was 
immediately to repair to headquarters, to wit, the 
home of his captain, and the captain was to march the 
company straight to the scene of invasion or insur 
rection "to oppose the enemy," at the same time send 
ing word to the regimental or brigade commander. 
A little later, to wit, on December 20, the Provincial 
Congress ordered that the militia of Dutchess and 
Westchester counties should form two separate brig 
ades ; whence we may assume that a larger enrolment 
of militia men was secured in those counties than had 
at first been expected. 

The militia were called out whenever needed, and 
were kept out as long as they were needed, but they 
could be taken outside of the colony or state for no 
more than three months at a time. Sometimes, as 
Mr. James A. Roberts explains in his work on "New 
York in the Revolution," a regiment or half of a 
regiment would be called out half a dozen times 
in the course of a year, perhaps for half a dozen days 
at a time ; and again might not be called out once for 


a whole year. The regiments were commonly desig 
nated first by their colonels names and next by their 
counties. Officers and men seem to have served, says 
Mr. Roberts, in different organizations almost indis 
criminately. At one call they were in one and at an 
other they were in another regiment or company. 
Each colonel had almost unlimited powers in the dis 
trict to which his regiment belonged, and he was 
specially required to see that every able-bodied male 
inhabitant between the ages of sixteen and sixty 
years was enrolled. Moreover, every such person 
must serve whenever called upon to do so, under pen 
alty of fine and imprisonment; and if incapacitated, 
he must contribute toward the cost of securing and 
equipping another man. Among the rations served 
to all were tobacco, sugar, and tea, and in addition 
the colonels and chaplains received liberal allowances 
of rum. A colonel s pay was $75 a month, and a pri 
vate soldier s pay $6.66 a month; not always in 
money, but sometimes in state scrip and sometimes 
in authority to "impress" cattle and goods; for all 
which things taken receipts were to be given to the 
owners in the name of the state, so that payment 
could afterward be made. 

This enactment by New York was made in pur 
suance of an act of the Continental Congress, on 
July 18, 1775, which "recommended to the inhabi 
tants of all the united English Colonies in North 
America that all able-bodied, effective men between 
sixteen and fifty years of age, in each Colony, might 


form themselves into regular companies of Militia, 
to consist of one captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, 
four sergeants, four corporals, one clerk, one drum 
mer, one fifer, and about sixty-eight privates." 

Each company was permitted to elect its own offi 
cers ; the companies were to be formed into regiments 
or battalions, officered with a colonel, lieutenant- 
colonel, two majors, an adjutant or quartermaster. 
All officers above the rank of captain were to 
be appointed by the respective Provincial Assem 
blies, or Conventions, or by the Committees of 

One fourth part of the militia in every county was 
to consist of minute men, who were ordered "to be 
ready on the shortest Notice to march to any Place 
where their Assistance may be required for the De 
fence of their own or a neighboring Colony." As the 
minute men were expected to be called into action be 
fore the body of the militia were sufficiently trained, 
it was recommended "that a more particular and 
diligent attention be paid to their instruction in mili 
tary discipline." 

The equipment of these militia companies was 
at first painfully meager, and their muster-rolls, 
"spelled by the unlettered Muse," were such as 
would drive the modern officer to despair. As an ex 
ample, the muster-roll of Captain Nathaniel Scrib- 
ner s company may be cited, copied verbatim et lite 
ratim from an original MS. in the possession of Mr. 
Charles H. Ludington : 


Capt. Scribner s muster role. 

Capt Nathaniel Scribner 


sword o 

Ltn Daniel martine 

o catrig box 

In David merrick 


sword o 

St. Thomas grigrory 


St. Caleb hazen 


St makis Brundige 

o o 

Cl Thomas willson 


o catrig box 

Cl Isaac Evritt 


sword o 

Benianan hamblon 


Stephen Hyatt 


Joshua grigrory 


gilbirt ganung 


o o 

Samuel Pears 


Caleb Pears 


Rusel grigrory 


sword o 

f reman hopkins 


Samuel horton 


o o 

Joseph hopkins 

o o 

alexander pears 

o o 

henery Bolding 


sword o 

John f erguson 


Noah robinson 

Joseph ganung 


Jesse ganung 


Elezur hazen 


william haighson 

o o 

Lewis Furguson 

o o 

abiiag Barker 


Samuel Jinkins 


Jacob mead 


John mcLean 


John Lounsbury 

John thrustin 


Nathanel finch 
Jona Carle 
Thomas Furguson 
Richard p e grigrory 
James Carle 
Nathaniel Jinkins 
David Storms 
John Sloot 
John frost 
gorge Evritt 
Edward Vermilyea 
John Stedel 
Jonathan hustice 
Thomas Hall 
James Barker 
John wright 
Thadeus Ramond 
robint wright 
Beniaman Birdsel 
Isaac ganung 
Job Veail 
Isaac Sloot 
adonija carle 
Samuel Conkling 
Elisha Bolding 
Jeremiah hughson 
Jerediah davis 
alaxander Brown 
gedien Simkins 
David Fowler 
Daniel worden 
abraham Furguson 
Jones Semans 
Nathanel Robinson 
John Sloot 


o o 
sword o 

o o 



sword o 
o o 


o o 


o o 
sword o 


o o 


o o 

o o 


o o 




Annexed to the muster roll was the following ad 
dendum : 

These air men What is gon into the servis 

Lef tenant John munrow 
St. Josiah grigrory 
Jacob birdsel 
Jacob ganung 
John Shaw 
Solomon hustice 
parce holding 
John Vermilya 
Richard Barker 
Daniel grigrory 
Zebulon wright 
Isaac merick 
Eli hopkins 
James mcf arling 
Rhubin finch 
Timothy wood 
Jonathan Semans 
william Virmilya 
Thomas hagson 
Jonathan hopkins 
moses hazen 
Samuel bouton 
Isaac Lounsbury. 

In the work of enlisting and organizing these 
militia levies the most efficient men were naturally 
those who had already had military experience and 
command as officers in some of the colonial wars. 
Henry Ludington was among these. He had had 
such experience in a noteworthy degree, and to it 



he added both physical and temperamental aptitude 
for military labors, and an ardent spirit of patriot 
ism. Leaving the service in 1759 as a lieutenant, he 
had, as already related, resigned his commission in 
indignation at the Stamp Act. On February 13, 
1773, however, he accepted a commission as captain 
in Colonel Beverly Robinson s Dutchess County 
regiment, and this commission, which was signed by 
William Tryon, the last British governor of New 
York, he held until 1775, or possibly 1776, when he 
cast it aside and entered the "Rebel" or Patriotic 
service. The militia of Dutchess County was organ 
ized, under the law already cited, in the fall of 1775, 
and on October 17 Petrus Ten Broeck, the colonel 
of the First or Rhinebeck and Northwest regiment, 
was commissioned brigadier-general commanding. 
Of the Second regiment of Dutchess County, Jac 
obus Swartwout was colonel, and when in time the 
militia of the county was so increased as to form two 
brigades, he was, on March 3, 1780, appointed brig 
adier-general commanding one of them. Swart- 
wout s commission as colonel was also issued on Oc 
tober 17, 1775, and at the same time Malcolm Morri 
son was commissioned first major and Henry Lud- 
ington was commissioned second major of his regi 
ment. Ludington seems also to have served as cap 
tain of the company raised in his home district, and 
to have been prompt and energetic in his service ; for 
on February 20, 1776, we find Colonel Swartwout 
in a letter to the Provincial Congress reporting that 



he was in hourly expectation of Captain Luding- 
ton s appearance at regimental headquarters, to 
gether with Captains Woodford from Pawling s, 
Clearck from Beekman s, and Durling from 
Rombout Precinct. The Congress the next day or 
dered that all the men thus reported should serve un 
til May 1 of that year, unless sooner discharged. 

Soon afterward came Ludington s first promo 
tion. On March 8, 1776, Malcolm Morrison, the 
first major of Swartwout s regiment, addressed to 
the Provincial Congress of New York this letter: 

Gentlemen: Whereas the gentlemen of the 
Provincial Congress has been pleased to appoint 
me First Major in Colo. Swartwout s regiment, 
and as my situation and business is such, that it 
is not within my power to serve without doing 
injustice to myself and creditors, having a con 
siderable interest in my hands to settle, and hav 
ing a large family to take care of without any 
person to assist me in settling my affairs, and 
whereas Major Henry Ludington, appointed in 
the militia, is prevailed upon to accept the com 
mission sent me, and if agreeable to you, do re 
sign in his favor. He can be recommended by 
Colo. Swartwout or the Committee of Dutchess 
County, and I hope you will be prevailed upon 
to appoint him in my stead, he being a person 
that has served in the last war and well ac 
quainted in the military service, and, Gentlemen, 
your compliance will greatly oblige, 

Your Very Humble Servant, 




Mr. Ludington waits for an answer. 
N.B. Gentlemen, enclosed you have the com 

This extraordinarily naive and unconventional let 
ter was received on March 9, apparently being borne 
by Major Ludington himself as messenger. It was 
favorably acted upon, and the next day, March 10, 
Ludington was made first major of the regiment in 
Morrison s place. At this time the companies were 
not yet filled, and the regiment was small. But re 
cruiting went on rapidly, so that by the first of May, 
1776, the regiment was actually too large. Accord 
ingly on May 6 the Committee of Dutchess County 
took action for the formation of another regiment in 
that part of the county, as reported in the following 
letter to the Provincial Congress : 

Sir: It having been represented to the Gen 
eral Committee of this County, that the Southern 
Regiment of Militia was too large and exten 
sive, containing 12 companies and covering a 
space of country upwards of 30 miles in length, 
we have, therefore, not only because in other 
respects it was expedient, but also in compliance 
with the Resolution of Congress prohibiting a 
Regiment to consist of more than 10 Companies, 
divided it, and instead of one have formed the 
Militia in that quarter into 2 regiments, together 
with a list of persons nominated for Field Offi 
cers. As this part of our Militia will remain un- 
regimented till the Officers receive their Commis 
sions, we must request that the Commissions be 



made out as soon as possible and sent to the Com 
mittee in Rombout s Precinct with directions to 
forward them to the Officers immediately. 
I remain, by order of the Committee, 
Your very humble servant, 


The new regiment, as described in an enclosure in 
Mr. Benson s letter, was to consist of all the militia 
in Phillipse Precinct, and in all of Fredericksburgh 
Precinct "except the Northern and Middle Short 
Lots" at the northeast, as hitherto explained. The 
field officers nominated were as follows: Colonel, 
Moses Dusenbury; lieutenant-colonel, Henry Lud- 
ington; first major, Reuben Ferris; second major, 
Joshua Nelson; adjutant, Joshua Myrick; quarter 
master, Solomon Hopkins. These nominations were 
promptly confirmed. A little later Henry Luding- 
ton was commissioned colonel of this regiment, to 
succeed Colonel Dusenbury. The exact date is not 
now ascertainable, but according to the mutilated re 
mains of the commission, a facsimile of which is given 
in this volume, it was some time in June, 1776. The 
commission his first as colonel was issued by the 
Provincial Congress of the Colony of New York, 
and was one of the last acts of that body, which in 
that month of June, 1776, went out of existence, and 
on July 9 following was succeeded by a new Pro 
vincial Congress, meeting at White Plains, which the 
next day, July 10, changed its name to the Conven 
tion of the Representatives of the State of New 


^ K 

z ~ 

s f 




J c 

O ?. 


fe ia^ 

r^S O 










v u 

, v 





. c ^ .5 o ^ T3 "*3 
cS *3 y O T3 ^ C ^ 

dyg -s y g ^ s 

= ^^ a ..S^-l r ^ 


y vc? " b-. & . b .2 



s -j- W -& ^ ^ . ^S nq -^ 
oQjCrS D8^o"S I 

a ^ s s 5^^lci: 

j i ^r^ 


> O 


j N a.s*i 



<! 5 

CJ S ^S O 



York. With this change of government new com 
missions were issued to officers, Henry Ludington 
receiving one as colonel, which is now in the posses 
sion of his grandson, Charles H. Ludington. His 
regiment, the seventh of the Dutchess County mili 
tia, was thereafter popularly known and indeed 
often officially designated as Colonel Ludington s 
regiment. Unfortunately its earliest muster-rolls and 
record of organization have not been preserved, or 
cannot now be found, but it is known to have con 
sisted of six companies. The minutes of the Council 
of Appointment do not mention it until May 28, 
1778, when it is called Colonel Henry Ludington s 
regiment. At this latter date Stephen Ludington 
was a second lieutenant in Captain Joel Mead s 
(1st) company. We may here add that in various 
rosters of New York troops the following names of 
members of the Ludington family appear, in ad 
dition to Colonel Ludington: 

Stephen Ludington, and also Stephen Ludenton 
(doubtless the same person), private, in Brincker- 
hoff s company of Brinckerhoff s regiment the sec 
ond regiment of Dutchess County, Rombout Pre 

Elisha Luddington, private, of Livingston s com 
pany of Malcolm s regiment the first regiment of 
New York levies in the United States Army. Also, 
Elisha Luddington, private, in Barnum s company 
of Hopkins s regiment the sixth regiment of 
Dutchess County. 



William Luddington, private, in Westfall s com 
pany of Wessenfels s regiment. 

Comfort Ludington, private, in Hecock s com 
pany of Field s regiment the third regiment of 
Dutchess County. Also, Comfort Ludington, pri 
vate, in Mead s company of Ludington s regiment 
the seventh regiment of Dutchess County. Also, 
Comfort Luddington, captain of a company of the 
second regiment of minute men of Dutchess County, 
commissioned on February 26, 1776. 

Early in June, 1776, probably at about the time of 
Colonel Ludington s appointment, and a month be 
fore the formal declaration of American independ 
ence, the Continental Congress called for 13,800 
militia from the Colonies, to reenforce the army at 
New York, in addition to other levies for the army 
which was to invade Canada. New York s share of 
this levy was 3,750, of whom 3,000 were for service 
at New York and 750 for the expedition to Canada. 
The latter were naturally selected from the northern 
counties, while the 3,000 for local service were taken 
from the counties along the Hudson and around the 
city of New York. Among the latter were 335 men 
from Dutchess County, a larger number than was 
contributed by any other county excepting New 
York and Albany. The Dutchess County con 
tingent was ordered to be ready to march on 
June 21. 

The local needs of Dutchess County were not, 
however, to be overlooked. A committee of the New 

j N*n*j,a 

>| .. rN> $ ( | Nj. ^ "^ . C\j 

IM^il i:l-1t,>:^ p?^1 

Ktjitpi- i 

^ - c xCS ^.fc K ^ ti -> v W^ ^f^ 


>,j^ ^~~. n "x\ 



York Congress on June 20 reported that there were 
many disaffected and dangerous persons in Dutchess 
and Westchester counties, who greatly disturbed the 
peace, and who would probably take up arms when 
ever the enemy should make a descent upon that 
region, and that the requisitions of troops made by 
the Continental Congress had left the militia incap 
able of keeping peace and order "without great in 
convenience to themselves and much injury to and 
neglect of their private property." It was therefore 
recommended, and ordered, that 100 men and officers 
in Dutchess County and 50 in Westchester County 
be taken into the service of the Provincial Congress 
"and confined to the Service of those Counties." The 
100 men in Dutchess County were organized in two 
companies. On July 16 the Provincial Congress, or 
Convention, was in session at White Plains, and it 
there ordered that one fourth of the militia of those 
two counties should be summoned into active service, 
until the end of the year; each man receiving $20 
bounty, and the same pay and subsistence as the Con 
tinental soldiers. Among those thus drawn into the 
service was Colonel Ludington. 

The first care of Colonel Ludington on assuming 
command of his regiment was to fill up its ranks and 
organize a complete staff of officers. In reporting to 
the Convention or Provincial Congress, as he still 
called it upon this work, he wrote under date of 
July 19, 1776, from Fredericksburgh, as follows, this 
letter being transformed into modern and corrected 



orthography, and others which follow being thus 
edited only enough to insure intelligibility: 

These may inform Your Honors that I meet 
with some difficulty in furnishing my quota of 
men for the present emergency, for want of com 
missions in the regiment which I have the honor 
to command. We have a number of officers 
chosen already that have no commissions, and 
several more must be chosen in order to have the 
regiment properly officered. And whereas I have 
applied to the County Committee for blanks to be 
filled up, and there are none to be had, therefore 
I, in conjunction with the committee of this Pre 
cinct, would desire that there might be about 
twenty blank commissions sent up by Mr. 
Myrick, the bearer hereof. I would further ac 
quaint Your Honors that the regiment is desti 
tute of Majors, and would be glad if Your Hon 
ors would appoint two gentlemen to that office 
and fill up commissions for them. There are two 
gentlemen that I do, with the advice of the Com 
mittee, nominate, viz., Mr. Gee his Christian 
name I am not able to tell of Phillipse Pre 
cinct, and Captain Ebenezer Robinson of this 
Precinct. These gentlemen are doubtless known 
by several of the members of the honorable 

From Your Humble Servant, 

To the Honorable Provincial Congress. 

The annals of the New York Convention, under 
date of July 20, 1776, relate that this letter was re 
ceived, read, and filed, and that 



V* ** 

v <*$ 

1 1 

.. ^ 

. ^ 3S 


On reading the said letter from Colonel 
Ludentoii, of Dutchess County, and considering 
the state of his Regiment at this critical time, 

Resolved, That Commissions be issued to the 
two gentlemen therein named in said letter, and 
that 20 other Commissions be signed by the Presi 
dent and countersigned by one of the Secretaries 
and transmitted to Colonel Ludenton, to be filled 
up for the Captains and Subalterns of his Regi 
ment when necessary, by the Precinct Committee 
and himself; that said Precinct Committee and 
Colonel Ludenton return to this Convention an 
exact list of the names, rank and dates of the 
Officers commissioned, which they shall fill up 
and deliver. 

And Resolved, That the sending blank com 
missions to a Precinct Committee shall not from 
this instance be drawn into precedent. 

In this fashion Colonel Ludington prepared for 
the stern activities before him. The "critical time" 
referred to in the resolutions of the Convention was 
indeed critical. New York was in imminent danger 
of being occupied by the British, and British war 
ships were likely soon to ascend the Hudson River. 
John Jay was intrusted with the making of plans for 
the defense of the Hudson Highlands. On August 
1, Jay, Duer, and others, were made a committee to 
draft a plan for a new government for the State of 
New York. The battle of Long Island was fought 
on August 27, and a little later the British were in 
full possession of New York and its environs. The 
Convention was driven to Harlem, to Kingsbridge, 



to Odell s in Phillipse Manor, to Fishkill, to Pough- 
keepsie, and to Kingston. On October 20 the battle 
of Chatterton Hill was fought, at White Plains, in 
which Colonel Ludington s regiment was engaged, 
and in which he himself served as one of Washing 
ton s aides, and thus began his acquaintance with the 
commander-in-chief. When Washington s army 
crossed the Hudson River, however, for the "devil s 
dance across the Jerseys," and the superb turning at 
bay at Trenton, the New York militia levies re 
mained at home, where indeed they were sorely 
needed. The Tory element in Westchester and 
Dutchess counties had from the first been ominously 
strong. With the British victories in and around 
New York, and with the American Army in appar 
ently hopeless rout and flight, they were emboldened 
to open hostility to the Patriot cause. A report to 
the Convention, or to the Committee of Safety, on 
September 4, made it appear that in the four coun 
ties of Dutchess, Westchester, Orange and Ulster 
there were only 3,100 armed and trustworthy militia, 
while there were 2,300 disaffected Tories and 2,300 
slaves to be held in order. A month later the situa 
tion was much worse, and it was then that there was 
formed the committee already mentioned, "for in 
quiring into, detecting and defeating conspiracies 
against the liberties of America." The war was now 
on, in earnest, and "malice domestic, foreign levy," 
were both at once to be grappled with by the Patriot 




THE public services of Henry Ludington during 
the war for independence were threefold in 
character. Each of the three parts was of much im 
portance, each was marked with arduous toil and fre 
quent perils, and each was performed to the full 
extent of his ability. Nor was the sacrifice of per 
sonal welfare inconsiderable. We have seen that he 
was the father of a large family, eight children hav 
ing been born to him prior to the signing of the 
Declaration of Independence, and was the leasehold 
occupant of extensive lands. It was no light thing 
to absent himself from these. There was before 
him, moreover, the example of another and senior 
officer, who, because of family interests and engage 
ments, had resigned his commission. That same 
commission had been passed on to Henry Ludington, 
who might with equal grace and reason have declined 
it or presently resigned it. There is, however, no in 
dication that he ever contemplated such a step. 
Leaving his lands and home in the charge of his wife 
and children, the eldest of whom in 1776 was only 
fifteen, while the youngest was a babe in arms, he 
gave himself with whole-hearted devotion to what 
ever tasks his country might require of him. 



The distinctively military services of Henry Lud- 
ington began at an early date. The first clash of 
arms after the Declaration of Independence oc 
curred on the shores of New York Bay. The retire 
ment of the American Army, after unsuccessful en 
gagements, from Long Island, and then from Man 
hattan Island, brought the theater of war closer and 
closer to Dutchess County, and made the active par 
ticipation of the militia more imminent. Indeed, even 
before those operations, the militia was called out to 
assist in securing the passes of the Hudson High 
lands, and thus preventing any communication be 
tween the British at New York and those in Canada 
and the North Woods. The Convention or Legis 
lature of the State, in session at Harlem, on August 
8, 1776, adopted the following war measure: 

RESOLVED unanimously that Brigadier 
General Clinton be, and he hereby is, appointed 
to the Command of all the Levies raised, and to 
be raised in the Counties of Ulster, Orange and 
West Chester, agreeable to the Resolutions of 
this Convention of the sixteenth day of July last. 

RESOLVED that General Clinton be in 
formed of this Appointment and directed imme 
diately to send Expresses to the Counties of Ul 
ster, Dutchess, Orange and West Chester, and 
order them to hasten their Levies and to march 
them down to the Fort now erected on the North 
side of Kings Bridge, leaving two hundred men 
under the Command of a Brave & alert Officer to 
take possession of and throw up works at the pass 
of Anthonys Nose. 



RESOLVED that General Clinton be re 
quested to order the Troops of Horse belonging 
to the Counties of Ulster, Orange and West 
Chester immediately to march to such posts as he 
may think proper that they should Occupy, in 
order to watch the motions of the Enemies Ships 
of war now in Hudsons River. 

Extracts from the Minutes. 


When the ships of war had landed an army, and 
this was moving irresistibly northward, a committee 
of the Convention, meeting at Fishkill as a Com 
mittee of Safety, on October 10, further ordered: 

RESOLVED, that the Commanding officer 
of the militia of Ulster County, do immediately 
send down 300 men of the Militia of the County 
of Ulster, to Peekskill well armed and accoutred 
with three days provisions. 

RESOLVED, that the Commanding Officer 
on the south side of the Mountains or High-Lands 
in the County of Orange, be directed to order 
such a number of the militia from that part of the 
said County which lays on the south side of the 
High Lands as will be sufficient to Guard their 
shores, and to appoint a commissioner to supply 
them with provisions. 

And that the Commanding Officer on the north 
side of the Highlands, in the said County, Order 
one hundred of the Militia from the north side of 
the High Lands of the said County to march 
without Delay to Peekskill taking with them 
three days provisions. 



RESOLVED that Benjamin Haight and 
Mathew Harper be commissioners to supply 
them with provisions, and that this Convention 
will provide means for defraying the Expense. 

ORDERED, that the Brigadier Generals of 
the Counties of Albany, Dutchess, Ulster and 
Orange, give orders to the several Colonels in 
their Brigades to hold the one half of their sev 
eral Regiments in Readiness to march at an 
hour s notice with five days provisions. 

RESOLVED, that all Ranges raised in the 
County of Ulster repair immediately to Fishkill 
and be subject to the direction of the Committee 
for enquiring into, detecting, and defeating all 
conspiracies formed in this State against the Lib 
erties of America. 

Extract from the Minutes of this Afternoon. 
JOHN McKsssoN, Secr y. 

The turning-point in the campaign which began 
at Brooklyn occurred on October 28, at White 
Plains. There, at Chatterton Hill, Washington 
once more engaged the British, and once more was 
compelled to retire before them. With the masterly 
strategy in which he was unrivaled by any soldier of 
his time, however, instead of falling back upon the 
defenses of the Hudson Highlands and thus inviting 
a conflict which might have cost him the possession of 
that crucial point, he retreated in another direction, 
south and west, thus drawing the British away from 
the Highlands and leaving the latter secure. Had 
the British, instead of pursuing him in that fruitless 
chase across the Jerseys, only to meet with disaster at 



Trenton, hurled themselves against the forts at 
West Point and elsewhere along the Hudson, they 
might easily have gained control of the Hudson, and 
thus have effected a junction with their northern 
forces and have altered the whole story of the war. 
We may suppose that that is what Washington would 
have done had he been in Clinton s place. The British 
did not do so, but fell into the trap which the wily 
American had set for them. In the battle at White 
Plains, however, which is more to our purpose than 
the subsequent campaign, the militia was largely 
used, and acquitted itself with credit. In an appli 
cation for a pension made by Joshua Baker of 
Dutchess County, it was set forth that "On or about 
the 1st day of August, 1776, he enlisted at a place 
called Fredericksburgh in the County of Dutchess 
and State of New York at which place he was resid 
ing. That he entered the company commanded by 
Captain Luddenton in the regiment commanded by 
Col. Swartwout. That from Fredericksburgh afore 
said he marched with the said company to Peekskill 
and after a short time from thence to Kingsbridge 
in the county of Westchester, that he remained at 
Kingsbridge until the month of October, when they 
were ordered to White Plains, where he was in the 
engagement generally known as the battle of White 
Plains. In this engagement one of the Chaplains 
named Van Wyck was killed. Soon after the battle 
of White Plains he marched with the said regiment 
to New Windsor where he was discharged." The 



"Captain Luddenton" mentioned was presumably 
Comfort Ludington, who, as we have already seen, 
was an officer of the Dutchess County militia, and 
the statement of Baker is clear indication that that 
militia was engaged in the battle of White Plains. 

Further evidence to the same effect, directly con 
necting Henry Ludington with that battle, is found 
in the affidavit of Elisha Turner, who declared 
"That in the fall of 1776 he was drafted for three 
months in Captain Joel Mead s Company, Lieut. 
Porter, and Sear gents Fisher and Brewsters in 
Colonel Ludington s Reg t New York State troops. 
That he joined his company and marched to White 
Plains and then joined his regiment and the Army, 
that he was present at the battle of White Plains and 
afterward retired with the army up the river. That 
he remained with his Regiment and company until 
his term of three months expired, when he received a 
verbal discharge from his Colonel and Captain and 
returned home." Much other evidence to the same 
effect might be cited, were it needed, which it is not. 
There can be no doubt that Henry Ludington with 
his regiment was engaged at White Plains, and that 
he, himself, as a representative officer of the Dutchess 
County levies, was chosen to serve as an aide on the 
staff of Washington. The commander-in-chief ap 
pears to have recognized in Colonel Ludington a man 
upon whose brain and arm he might with confidence 
depend. It is a credible tradition that during that 
battle Washington complimented him upon his sol- 


dier-like bearing, and indirectly paid a tribute to his 
vigilance. A family tradition tells that as the two 
stood side by side, with the rest of the staff about 
them, Colonel Ludington noticed the British tak 
ing up a new position and placing their artillery, 
screened behind shrubs and trees, and directed Wash 
ington s attention to the fact, which had been en 
tirely unperceived by the others. "Yes," said Wash 
ington, approvingly, "I have been watching them 
this long time." 

On November 6, the British began their fatuous 
movement toward New Jersey, imagining that the 
American Congress at Philadelphia, rather than the 
American Army and fortresses along the Hudson, 
was the strategical objective. The American Coun 
cil of War unanimously agreed that Washington s 
army should thereupon cross into New Jersey, antici 
pating the British advance, while three thousand 
troops, including Colonel Ludington s Dutchess 
County militia, should be sent to reinforce the de 
fenses of the Highlands. Washington left White 
Plains on the morning of November 10, and reached 
Peekskill at sunset of the same day, Colonel Lud 
ington s regiment presumably accompanying him. 
After a careful inspection of the works as far up the 
river as West Point, and after giving directions for 
the disposition of the troops, on November 12 he 
passed over into New Jersey, and went his way to 
the disaster of Fort Washington, and the more than 
redeeming victory of Trenton. Meanwhile, Colonel 


"Ludington remained at Peekskill, where there pres 
ently was a prospect of strenuous work. For hav 
ing, as they imagined, put Washington to hopeless 
flight in New Jersey, the British turned a part of their 
attention to the very thing to which their chief at 
tention should at the outset have been given. Plans 
were made for an advance up the Hudson, by land 
and water. West Point was to be avoided by 
inarching up the east shore, where the defenses were 
not so strong. Such a movement must, of course, be 
resisted at all hazards. Washington, from his camp 
on the Delaware, in what Thomas Paine described as 
"the times that try men s souls," was able to spare 
enough attention from his own pressing extremities 
to write words of warning and exhortation to Gov 
ernor Clinton, and in pursuance of his wise counsels 
the New York Convention, at Fishkill, on December 
21, adopted the following resolutions: 

WHEREAS, from various Intelligence re 
ceived of the motions and Designs of the Enemy s 
Army, it appears highly probable that they medi 
tate an attack upon the Passes in the Highlands 
on the East side of Hudson s River, 

AND WHEREAS, the Term of the Enlist 
ment of the militia under the command of Briga 
dier General George Clinton which is at present 
stationed to defend the Pass at Peeks Kill ex 
pires on the last of this month, and that a great 
part of the Division commanded by Major Gen 
eral Spencer, which is stationed at North Castle 
on the 29th inst. 



AND WHEREAS, his Excellency GenL 
Washington by his Letter of the 15th instant has 
warmly recommended to this state to exert them 
selves in procuring temporary supplies of militia 
till the new Levies of the continental army can 
be brought into the Field, 

RESOLVED, that the whole militia of the 
Counties of Westchester, Dutchess and that part 
of the County of Albany which lies to the south 
ward of Beeren Island be forthwith marched to 
North Castle in Westchester County, well 
equipped with arms and ammunition and fur 
nished with Blankets & six days Provisions & a 
Pot or Camp Kettle to every six men, except 
such Persons as the field Officers of the Respec 
tive Regiments shall judge cannot be called into 
service without greatly distressing their families, 
or who may be actually engaged in the manufac 
turing of salt Petre, or of shoes and Cloathing 
for the use of the army. 

RESOLVED, that the said militia be allowed 
continental Pay and Rations, and that such men 
as cannot furnish themselves with arms shall be 
supplied from the continental store. 

Colonel Ludington and his regiment therefore re 
mained on duty at North Castle until word came of 
the rout of the British at Trenton and Princeton, and 
Washington s triumphant return to the hills of Mor- 
ristown for the winter. All imminent danger of a 
British attack upon the Highlands was then past, and 
the militia was permitted to return home for a time. 
The respite was brief, however. On January 3, 
1777, Nathaniel Sackett was authorized by the Com- 


mittee of Safety "to employ such detachments of the 
militia of Dutchess County as are not in actual ser 
vice, as he may deem expedient, for inquiring into, 
detecting and defeating all conspiracies which may 
be found against the liberties of America." Also, 
on March 25, the Convention took further action, re 
sulting in the issuance of this order by Governor 
Clinton : 

To Colonel Morris Graham, 

Pursuant to a Resolve of the Honorable the 
Convention of the State of New York, dated the 
25th day of March last, impowering & requiring 
me until the first of August next to call into 
actual Service all or any Part or proportion of the 
Militia as well Horse as Foot of the Counties of 
Ulster, West Chester, Dutchess and Orange, for 
the Defence of the Posts and Passes of the High 
lands, & frustrating the Attempts of the Enemy 
to make Incursions into this State you are for 
these Purposes forthwith, to draft by Ballot or 
other equitable Manner, one hundred & thirty 
three Men of your Regiment & them compleatly 
armed & equiped, cause to march, properly Offi 
cered, to Fort Independence near Peek s Kill 
there to join the Field Officers who shall be ap 
pointed to command them. The Companies to 
consist as nearly as may be of Sixty two Privates 
& to have a Captain & two Lieutenants. 
Given under my Hand at Poughkeepsie this 3d 
Day of April 1777. 


Colonel Ludington appears at this time not to have 
been among those called to duty at Peekskill, but to 



have been left for a few weeks among those "not in 
actual service" who were to act under Nathaniel 
Sackett, as already related, for the suppression of 
conspiracies. The call to duty was not very well 
responded to by the other officers and men. The 
militia had been in the field in the early part of the 
winter longer than they had expected to be, and now, 
in the spring, they were desirous of remaining at 
home as much as possible to attend to the season s 
work on their farms. This reluctance to respond to 
the call provoked this action of the Convention, taken 
at Kingston on April 24 : 

WHEREAS it appears that a great Part of 
the militia of Dutchess County have neglected to 
obey the orders of General Clinton issued in con 
sequence of a resolve of this House, for calling 
out a part of the militia of the Counties of Ul 
ster, Orange and Dutchess to Garrison the forts 
and Guard the passes in the Highlands. 

RESOLVED that Major Lawrence and Mr. 
Zephaniah Platt be & they are hereby appointed 
a Committee to repair forthwith to Dutchess 
County to enquire into the reasons of such neg 
lect, that they use their utmost endeavours to con 
vince the People of the necessity of exerting 
themselves at this critical Juncture, and that they 
make report to this Convention with all conven 
ient Dispatch in order that the most effectual 
measures may be taken to induce a compliance 
with the aforesaid Resolve. 

RESOLVED that General Clinton be & he 
hereby is empowered to make such disposition 



with respect to the officers of the militia under his 
Command as he shall judge most advansive of 
the Public Service and where any extra expense 
shall accrue in consequence of this Resolve which 
cannot be considered as a Continental Charge 
this Convention will pay the same. 

Extract from the Minutes. 


There was, however, no question concerning the 
activity and zeal of Colonel Ludington at this time. 
On April 25, the very day after the adoption of the 
foregoing resolution by the Convention, a force of 
two thousand British troops landed at Compo, near 
Fairfield, Connecticut, under command of General 
Tryon, the former British governor of New York, 
under whom Henry Ludington had once held a com 
mission. It marched hastily inland, and on the after 
noon of the next day reached D anbury, Connecticut, 
where there were large stores of provisions, tents, 
etc., for the American Army, many of which had 
been sent thither from Peekskill for as was sup 
posed greater security. Not only these, but also 
most of the private houses in the town, were at once 
set afire, while the soldiers made themselves drunk 
with looted spirits, and gave themselves up to an 
unrestrained orgy. It was one of the most brutal 
and disgraceful performances of British arms in all 
the war, and was unhesitatingly denounced as such 
by self-respecting British officers. It does not appear 
that the raid had any other object than the destruc- 



tion of Danbury, or the stores at that place, for as 
soon as the soldiers could be sufficiently sobered up 
thereafter, a retreat toward the British shipping on 
the Sound was begun. But on the American side the 
incident gave occasion for one of the most thrilling 
and gallant exploits of the war. 

It was on Friday afternoon that the landing was 
made at Compo, and it was on Saturday afternoon 
that Danbury was burned. Patriot messengers rode 
at top speed in three directions toward New Haven 
to hasten Generals Arnold and Wooster, who were 
already on their way; to meet General Silliman, to 
expedite his juncture with the others; and to Freder- 
icksburgh to tell the news to Colonel Ludington, that 
he might furnish the troops which the generals would 
need. Railroads, telegraphs and other annihilators 
of time and space were unknown in those days. But 
the personal factor, which after all dominates all the 
problems of this world, was active and effective. At 
four o clock Danbury was fired. At eight or nine 
o clock that evening a jaded horseman reached Col 
onel Ludington s home with the news. We may 
imagine the fire that flashed through the veteran s 
veins at the report of the dastardly act of his former 
chief. But what to do? His regiment was dis 
banded, its members scattered at their homes, many 
at considerable distances. He must stay there, to 
muster all who came in. The messenger from Dan- 
bury could ride no more, and there was no neighbor 
within call. In this emergency he turned to his 



daughter Sibyl, who, a few days before, had passed 
her sixteenth birthday, and bade her to take a horse, 
ride for the men, and tell them to be at his house by 
daybreak. One who even now rides from Carmel to 
Cold Spring will find rugged and dangerous roads, 
with lonely stretches. Imagination only can picture 
what it was a century and a quarter ago, on a dark 
night, with reckless bands of "Cowboys" and "Skin 
ners" abroad in the land. But the child performed 
her task, clinging to a man s saddle, and guiding her 
steed with only a hempen halter, as she rode through 
the night, bearing the news of the sack of D anbury. 
There is no extravagance in comparing her ride with 
that of Paul Revere and its midnight message. Nor 
was her errand less efficient than his. By daybreak, 
thanks to her daring, nearly the whole regiment was 
mustered before her father s house at Fredericks- 
burgh, and an hour or two later was on the march for 
vengeance on the raiders. They were a motley com 
pany, some without arms, some half dressed, but all 
filled with a certain berserk rage. That night they 
reached Redding, and joined Arnold, Wooster and 
Silliman. The next morning they encountered the 
British at Ridgefield. They were short of ammuni 
tion and were outnumbered by the British three to 
one. But they practised the same tactics that Paul 
Revere s levies at Lexington and Concord found so 
effective. Their scattering sharpshooter fire from 
behind trees and fences and stone walls, harassed the 
British sorely, and made their retreat to their ships 



at Compo resemble a rout. Xor were instances of in 
dividual heroism in conflict lacking. Arnold had his 
horse shot under him as, almost alone, he furiously 
charged the enemy, and the gallant Wooster received 
a wound from which he died a few days later. There 
w^ere far greater operations in the war than this, but 
there was scarcely one more expeditious, intrepid and 
successful. Writing of it to Gouverneur Morris, 
Alexander Hamilton said: "I congratulate you on 
the Danbury expedition. The stores destroyed there 
have been purchased at a pretty high price to the 
enemy. The spirit of the people on the occasion does 
them great honor is a pleasing proof that they have 
lost nothing of that primitive zeal with which they 
began the contest, and will be a galling discourage 
ment to the enemy from repeating attempts of the 
kind. . . . The people of New York considered the 
affair in the light of a defeat to the British troops." 
It was not long before there was a still more 
serious menace than the Danbury raid. In June, 
1777, there were indications that the British were 
planning anew to gain possession of the Hudson 
River, and thus unite their own northern and south 
ern forces while dividing the eastern from the middle 
and southern colonies. Colonel Ludington and his 
regiment were therefore summoned to Peekskill, to 
strengthen the defenses of the Highlands, and it 
was not without some difficulty that he was enabled 
to respond to the call. Some of his men had become 
half mutinous. They had been willing enough to 



rush to D anbury, but now, in the busy time of the 
early summer, they objected to leaving their farms 
when there was no enemy actually in sight. The 
same trouble was experienced by the other militia 
commanders. On this occasion the period of service 
at Peekskill was short. But on July 1, Washington 
wrote to Clinton that the British were believed to be 
operating against Ticonderoga and its dependencies ; 
that Howe was preparing to evacuate the Jerseys to 
cooperate with the northern army, and that there 
was danger of a sudden attack upon the Highlands 
and the passes of the Hudson. He urged therefore, 
in the strongest manner, that all available militia 
should be called out to strengthen the garrisons at 
Peekskill and other places on the river. The next 
day Governor Clinton reported the gist of this letter 
to the Committee of Safety, adding that in conse 
quence thereof he had "issued Orders to Colonels 
Brinckerhoff, Ludington, Umphrey & Freeze of 
Dutchess County to march their Regiments to 
Peek s Kill." But the result was not altogether sat 
isfactory. The men were ready enough for active 
service; but they demurred at waiting idly in the 
camp while their farms at home were suffering. On 
July 9, Clinton, in a quandary, wrote from Fort 
Montgomery to the president of the Convention : 

The Militia which I ordered to this Post & 
who came in with great Expedition almost to a 
Man according to Custom begin to be extreamly 
uneasy. They want to go Home, their Corn is 



suffering, their Harvest coming on, and they 
cant see that it is likely there will be any Thing 
for them to do here suddenly. They have been 
frequently on the Dunderbergh to look down the 
River & cant see a single Vessel in it ; What shall 
I do with them ? 

If I consent to their going Home they w r ill Re 
turn when ordered again w r ith great Chearful- 
ness. If I dont, they will go (many of them at 
least) without Leave. I dont know what to do 
with them &, therefore, shall not do any Thing, 
without your Honor s Directions which I should 
be glad to have this afternoon. 

As a result of this appeal, General Putnam on 
July 11 issued an order to the effect that, "consider 
ing the Busy Season of the Year, & how important it 
is to the public as well as to themselves that the 
Militia be at home in their Business at this Time, and 
not being wanted, Altho he cannot say how soon they 
may be," the three regiments which first responded 
to the call, to wit, Ludington s, Humphrey s and 
Brinckerhoff s, were "dismissed with the General s 
thanks for their Alertness and for their good Ser 
vices, relying upon it that the Zeal & Ardor they have 
shewn in the great Cause we are engaged in will 
prompt them to turn out without (sic) the utmost 
Alacrity on all future Occasions." 

Another occasion was quickly supplied by the 
British, with their activities at the north and their re 
newed menace against the Highlands. On June 30, 
General Howe evacuated New Jersey, moved into 



Staten Island, and prepared to advance up the Hud 
son. On July 1, Burgoyne with his army appeared 
before Ticonderoga, and on July 6, the Americans 
evacuated that fortress. Washington, then at Mor- 
ristown, wrote on July 10 to the president of the 
Continental Congress: "In consequence of the prob 
ability that General Howe will push against the 
Highland passes to cooperate with General Bur 
goyne, I shall, by the advice of my officers, move the 
army from hence to-morrow morning towards the 
North River." Though delayed somewhat by bad 
weather, he proceeded to Sufferns, and thence to 
Galloway s, in Orange County, New York, where he 
remained until he ascertained that Howe was not 
going up the river, but was really making a feint to 
cover a swift dash upon Philadelphia. Accordingly, 
on July 23, Washington s army was set in motion 
toward the Delaware, leaving the Highlands to their 
local defenders. The inefficient and half treacher 
ous Gates presently superseded Schuyler in com 
mand of the American Army at the north after the 
disastrous affair at Ticonderoga, and it is probable 
that Washington doubted his ability to cope with 
Burgoyne. At any rate, despite what he regarded 
as Howe s "unaccountable abandonment" of Bur 
goyne, Washington regarded the latter s movements 
with much apprehension, and frequently warned 
Clinton at the Highlands to be on his guard against 
him. On July 31, he urged Clinton to call out the 
militia to reinforce the garrisons, and Clinton wrote 



as follows to the Committee of Safety, a letter which 
throws much light upon the embarrassments from 
which he suffered : 

The Proportion to be furnished by this State 
is 500 and it shall be my first Business to issue the 
necessary Orders for march g them to the respec 
tive stations for which they are intended. 

I am nevertheless apprehensive that I shall 
find it extremely difficult to compleat even this 
small Number. The Continental Pay and Ra 
tions being far below the wages given for ordi 
nary Labor the Difference becomes a Tax ren 
dered by personal Service and as the Train Band 
List from the Exemptions arising from Age Of 
fice & other Causes consists chiefly of the Mid 
dling & lower Class of People this extraordinary 
Tax is altogether paid by them. 

Add to this that unless a proportionate Num 
ber is called out of each County which in most 
Cases is inexpedient the County affording the 
most Men is upon the same Principle charged 
with a Tax to which the other Parts of the Com 
munity do not contribute. 

These Reasons are so clear as to be generally 
understood and complained of by the Militia and 
unless those exercising the Legislative Power of 
the State shall in their Wisdom devise some Plan 
in which those Inconveniences will be obviated 
and the Militia Duty become more equal I am ex 
tremely apprehensive that any Orders for calling 
Detachments to the Field for a limited Time will 
not hereafter be so duly obeyed as the Nature of 
Military Command and the good of the service 
absolutely requires. It wo d be needless to ob- 



serve to you, Gentlemen, that tho my Office as 
Governor gives me the Command of the Militia I 
am not vested with authority to promise even the 
ordinary Continental Pay and subsistance to any 
greater Number of Men than those required of 
me by his Excellency the Commander in Chief, 
whose Requisition entitles those who are called 
into actual Service in Consequence thereof to a 
Compensation from the Continent at large. 

In consequence of this letter of Clinton s the Com 
mittee of Safety the same day ordered that "Con 
tinental pay and rations be advanced on behalf of the 
Continent, to all such Militia as his Excellency the 
Governor shall think proper to call out." Colonel 
Ludington was not included in the summons to the 
Highlands, but was selected by Clinton for other 
and, as it proved, actually more active service, in the 
borderland of Westchester County. Clinton wrote 
to him as follows, from Kingston, on August 1, 1777 : 

The Operations of the Enemy ag t the State 
to the Northward as well as the exposed Situa 
tion of some of the Southern Counties to the In 
cursions of the Enemy from that Quarter, render 
it expedient to call into actual Service, a very 
considerable Proportion of the Militia in the 
Classing of the different Regiments for these 
Services your Regiment & Colo. Fields with the 
other Regiments of W. Chester County are to 
furnish 310 Men, including Non Commissioned 
Officers & Privates properly officered armed & 
accoutred, as you 1 see by the inclosed Order; 
and, as you are appointed to take the command of 



this Detachment, I desire that you will, immedi 
ately upon the Receipt hereof, direct and forward 
to the Commanding Officers of the other Regi 
ments who are to furnish Men towards this De- 
tachm t, one of the inclosed Resolutions & Orders, 
and exert yourself in having them raised with all 
possible Expedition and march them to such Sta 
tions in W. Chester County as will tend most to 
the Protection of the Inhabitants and best con 
duce to the Public Safety. Taking your Direc 
tions occasionally from the Command g Officer 
at Peeks Kill. 

The Inclosed Resolutions of the Council of 
Safety subjecting Exempts to a Proportion of 
the Common Burthen will, I hope, enable you to 
carry these Orders into Execution with greater 
Ease, especially as every Other Regt. in the State 
will furnish an equal if not a greater Number of 
Men for the Service. 

I am &c. 
Colo. Ludington. (G. C.) 

The Troops will be allowed Continental Pay 
& Rations & a Bounty to be raised agreeable to 
the within Resolve from the Fines levied on the 
Exempts refusing Service. 

A few days later another alarm was caused by the 
uncertainty which attended the movements of the 
British fleet, which, after sailing from New York to 
the capes of the Delaware as if to attack Phila 
delphia, suddenly put to sea again and disappeared 
for a time. Washington communicated his observa 
tions and suspicions to Clinton, and Clinton, on 



August 5, countermanded his orders to Ludington in 
the following letter : 

By Dispatches just Rec d from his Excellency 
Genl. Washington dated at Chester in Pensyl- 
vania 1st Aug t, I am informed that the Enemy s 
Fleet have left the Capes of Delaware & are 
steering Eastward & his Excellency is fully of 
Opinion they intend (proceeding) up Hudson s 
River. From this Intelligence & the great Pre 
parations making by the Enemy at Kings Bridge 
for an Expedition, I have not the least Doubt but 
that their Designs are against this Quarter & by 
vigorous Exertion they hope to join their two 
Armies before ours can arrive to oppose them. 
His Excellency is apprehensive of this also & has 
requested me to call out all the Militia of this 
State to oppose the Enemy till he can arrive with 
his Army. You will, therefore, on receipt hereof 
with the utmost Expedition march your Regt. to 
Fort Montgomery compleatly armed and ac 
coutred, leaving the frontier Companies at Home 
embodied & on Duty to guard ag t any small 
Parties of Tories or Indians. I mean to repair to 
the Fort with all Expedition & take the Com 

Clinton then notified Putnam at Peekskill that he 
had ordered Ludington s and also Field s and 
BrinckerhofFs regiments to join him forthwith, and 
on August 9 reported this action to Washington. 
But it was one thing to order and another thing to 
have the order fulfilled. The militia exhibited their 
former reluctance to go into camp unless the enemy 



were actually in sight. This applies, however, to the 
other regiments rather than to Colonel Ludington s. 
No complaint of his inactivity or his inability to fur 
nish his quota of men appears. But on August 20, 
Colonel Humphrey reported that his regiment was 
unwilling to march northward, meaning, no doubt, 
to go up the river beyond the Highlands to the aid of 
Gates against Burgoyne, as there was some desperate 
talk of doing ; and John Jay and Gouverneur Morris 
reported that Gates s army could hope for no militia 
reinforcements excepting from Albany County, and 
that garrisons should be provided for the Highland 
forts when the terms of enlistment of the militia 
should expire. This was the more essential as the 
regular garrisons had largely been sent north to aid 
Gates. A little later, on September 4, Colonel Dirck 
Brinckerhoff wrote from Fishkill to Clinton in an 
swer to some strictures as follows : 


You Blame me in Your Letter for Disobeying 
the Orders I first Receiv d for all the Militia to 
go to Peekskill, but it was by Consent of General 
Putnam, that Only part should go, and be Re- 
lie v d by the Same number from time to time in 
Such Manner as I thought proper, which has 
Strictly been done. 

Agreeable to your Last I have Order d half the 
Militia out, but it is allmost impossible to get 
them to go, on account of the Exempts not going, 
Aledging this is not a General Alarum; there 
fore, should be Glad of Some further Regulation 



in that Respect, and Possitive Orders from you 
how to act in that affair, I am Sir, 

Your Ob t. Hble. Serv t 

To His Excellency George Clinton Esq. 

Colonel Ludington, meanwhile, was busy else 
where, in another department of his public duties, of 
which we shall speak hereafter. At first commis 
sioned to serve in Westchester County, then ordered 
to the Highlands, he seems to have been permitted to 
remain in Westchester and lower Dutchess counties, 
where some strong hand was sorely needed. But on 
September 15 came news of the battle of the Brandy- 
wine, in which the Stars and Stripes was first un 
furled in battle, but in which the Americans were de 
feated. The news was ominous of the fall of Phila 
delphia and of the martyrdom of Valley Forge, and 
it caused some consternation along the Hudson. 
Clinton at once ordered eleven New York militia 
regiments to reinforce the Highlands, among them 
Colonel Ludington s, which was to proceed at once to 
Peekskill to serve under General Putnam. For the 
first time Ludington seems to have had some diffi 
culty in complying with orders, for, on September 
29, we find Clinton writing to him, as well as to the 
other colonels of militia, expressing surprise at the 
circumstance that, although he had ordered the whole 
of the regiments to reinforce the garrisons, not more 



than 300 men of six regiments had responded; and 
adding a peremptory command that one half of 
each regiment should go into service immediately 
for one month, and then be relieved by the other half. 
There was indeed cause for these preparations, for 
the British were at last actually beginning their ad 
vance up the Hudson in aid of the hard-pressed 
Burgoyne, though all too late to save him. At the 
beginning of October the British fleet appeared in 
the Hudson, and on October 4 a landing was made 
at Tarrytown. Of what occurred there, we have two 
contemporary accounts. One was given in the New 
York "Journal" of May 11, 1778, by one of the gar 
rison of Fort Montgomery, which, as we shall see, 
was presently captured by the British. "On Satur 
day night," says that narrator, "we had advice that a 
large number of ships, brigs, armed vessels, &c., had 
arrived at Tarrytown, where they had landed a con 
siderable body of men, supposed to be about one 
thousand, and had advanced toward the plains. Col 
onel Lutlington being posted there with about five 
hundred militia, they sent in a flag to him requiring 
him to lay down his arms and surrender himself and 
men prisoners of war. Whilst he was parleying with 
the flag they endeavored to surround him, which he 
perceiving ordered his men to retreat. The British 
then returned to their shipping, and the next morn 
ing we had advice of their being under sail, and com 
ing up as far as King s Ferry." The "Colonel Lut 
lington" referred to was, of course, Henry Luding- 


ion. By "the plains" it is to be supposed White 
Plains was meant, that village being distant from 
Tarrytown about seven miles. 

The second account, much more circumstantial 
and authoritative, is that of Colonel Ludington him 
self in his report to General Putnam. He was at 
that time stationed at Wright s Mills, between Tar 
rytown and White Plains, guarding the inhabitants 
from the depredations of Tory and Indian maraud 
ers. He wrote to General Putnam as follows : 

Sir. I must acquaint you of my yousage in 
this place. I find the militia was to join and I 
have not had the assistance of one man. you 
must well Remember you ordered Capt Dean 
and Capt Stephens. Stephens I never have seen. 
Dean I showed your order and Rote a few days 
ago Begging him to assist me scouting. I have 
inclosed his answer to me. You must not depend 
too much upon my little party, if I am to gard 
the inhabitants I must be Reinforced speadily or 
shall be obliged to post my men in some Better 
place of Security 

and am Sir Your obedient 
Humble Servant 


3 oclock October 4th 1777 
at Rites mills 

P. S. I beleive the inhabitants are entirely 
stript where they go. 

J ^ 


Honoured Sir: in haste I am to acquaint you 
that they came up Last night with 2 frigets and 
five or six Royale and tenders and about 40 flat 
Bottommed boats and landed about 3 thousand 
men under the command of governor Tryon. 
They immediately took the heights above Tarry- 
town and from thence kept the Heights until they 
thought they had got above our party. But 
Luckily we had got above them and paused at 
mr Youngses where we thought Best to move 
towards them where we were in open view of 
them and found them vastly superior to us in 
numbers and moved off to Rights mills, Having 
no asistance more than our Little party belong 
ing to our Regiment. I found on our Retreat 
before we got back to Youngses they had sent 
forward a flag, But found that was in view of 
trapping us as they had flanking parties who we 
discovered in order to surround us. But after 
clearing the Regiment I rode Back and met the 
flag within a quarter of a mile of their main body. 
The purport of his errand was that governor 
Tryon Had sent him to acquaint me that if we 
would give up our arms and submit they would 
show us mersy or otherways they were deter 
mined to take us and strip the contre (country). 
Sent in answer that as Long as we had a man 
alive I was determined to oppose them and they 
might come on as soon as they pleased. We have 
not lost a man and the last move of the enemy 
was from Youngses towards the plains. 

N. B. the maj.-is Gone home on furlow 



This report is unquestionably authentic, although 
the "P. S." has no address, date nor signature, and 
is on a separate sheet of paper from the letter and 
the "N. B." But it is in Henry Ludington s hand 
writing, precisely the same as the signed letter, and 
is on precisely the same kind of paper. Doubtless, 
then, the "P. S." was hurriedly written after the let 
ter, the British attack having occurred between the 
two writings, and was enclosed with the letter with 
out taking time to sign it in any way. The MSS. 
were in the possession of the late Douglas Putnam, 
of Harmar, Ohio, a great-grandson of General Put 
nam, and were left by him to his daughter, Mrs. 
Francke H. Bosworth, of New York. It is interest 
ing to observe that it was with his old chief, Tryon, 
that Ludington had on this occasion to deal again. 
He estimates the number of the British three times 
as high as does the other and less authoritative chron 
icler, and is probably more nearly correct. It may 
be assumed that the former statement that he had 
"about five hundred militia" was much exaggerated. 
His own official report of the day before shows his 
entire force at Wright s Mills to have comprised 
"One Colonel, 1 Lt. Colonel, 5 Captains, 10 Leuten- 
nants, no Ensign, no Chaplain, 1 Adjutant, 1 Quar 
termaster, 1 Surgeon, no Surgeons mate, 19 Ser 
geants, 9 Drummers and Fifers, 182 present fit for 
duty, 19 sick present, 3 Sick Absent, 19 on com 
mand, 10 on Furlough, Total 233." With such a 
mere handful, he certainly acquitted himself most 


creditably against the vastly superior force of 

Putnam was at Peekskill for the express purpose 
of guarding the passage up the river. He had there 
about 600 regulars and a much larger number of 
militia. Governor George Clinton was at Fort 
Montgomery, and his brother James Clinton at Fort 
Clinton, with combined forces variously reported at 
from 600 to 1200 men, mostly militia. Putnam had 
scout boats along the river, and an elaborate system 
of scouts on land. Yet, says General De Peyster, 
"the British Clinton . . . took advantage of a 
fog, transferred his troops over to the western side of 
the river, to Stony Point, made a wonderful march 
across or rather around the Dunderberg Mountain, 
and carried Forts Clinton and Montgomery by as 
sault, performing the most brilliant British operation 
during the seven years war." George Clinton suf 
fered heavy losses in troops, and narrowly escaped 
capture; the State capital, Kingston, was exposed 
to the enemy s advance; and Putnam retired to the 
mountains, sending word to Gates that he must pre 
pare for the worst as he could not prevent the enemy 
from advancing up the river to the aid of Burgoyne. 
"The enemy can go to Albany with great expedition 
and without any opposition." In the presence of this 
disaster two things were uncommonly fortunate for 
the American cause. One was that Gates was not 
alone in the north, but had Arnold, Schuyler, and 
Morgan with him to brace him up. The other was that 



the British did not attempt to go on up to Albany. 
After garrisoning Fort Montgomery, Sir Henry 
Clinton returned to New York. On October 15, he 
sent an expedition, under General Vaughan, up to 
Kingston, and the next day burned that village, the 
State government having previously fled to Pough- 
keepsie. Other ravages, of looting and burning, 
were committed along the river, to the disgrace of the 
British arms. But there was some consolation to the 
stricken patriots in the news that the very day after 
the burning of Kingston, Burgoyne, beaten by Ar 
nold, Schuyler, and Morgan, surrendered to Gates 
with all his army. 

During the winter of 1777-78 Colonel Ludington 
was chiefly busied with other features of his public 
duties, and appeared little in the field. He was a 
valuable adviser to the State government on military 
affairs, and, realizing from experience the great diffi 
culty of maintaining a satisfactory militia service in 
time of actual warfare, urged the formation of an 
other regiment of regulars. On December 18, Gov 
ernor Clinton referred to this project in a letter to 
General Putnam. He urged the necessity of 
strengthening the defenses of the Hudson River, and 
said that he expected the Committee of Safety at 
Poughkeepsie in a few days. He would then lay be 
fore them the proposal for a new regiment of reg 
ulars and added, "I should be glad to have Colo. Lud- 
ington s Plan." That winter, the winter of Valley 
Forge, was a hard one in which to raise recruits of 



any kind, especially in view of the fact that the troops 
had received no pay for their services for a long time 
past. Colonel Ludington felt this keenly, and on 
being asked by Clinton to furnish a certain number 
of men from his regiment for the new regiment of 
regulars, he wrote very frankly on the subject: 

Honoured Sir, I am under the Disagrable 
Nesesity of acqainting you, that I find it to Be 
out of my power to Comply with your Orders in 
Regard of Raising the Coto (Quota) of men 
aloted me to Raise out of my Regiment, and that 
for Sundry Reasons. In the first place, the 
money Raised in the other Regments By their 
asesments amounts to one Hundread pounds 
Bounty to Each Soldier By Reason of the Ex 
empts Being able and among whom are a number 
of Quakers. But it is not the Case in my Reg- 
ment, For, By the Best Computation we Can 
make, we Cannot Raise more than 30 Dolars a 
man, though I would not Be understood that we 
have gone through with the asesments and that 
for this Reason : the act for asesing the Exempts 
Expresly says that the officers who aseses the 
Exempts Shall Be Freeholders, and I have not 
Such an officer in my Regiment. We have met 
Sundry times in order to try to Raise the men 
and I yoused my Best Endevours that they 
Should Be Raised, But I have not an officer that 
will asist the Exempts. The officers tell me they 
posatively will not Call their Companies out until 
they get pay for their Past Servises in order to 
avoid Service; on that account I have had their 
pay roles maid up in time and Signed By the gen- 



eral, and Have weighted on the pay master for 
the money Everry few Days, and yesterday for 
the Last time, and He then told He had no pros 
pect in geting the money in Sum months. That 
Being the Case I am Sory I must Tell your Hon 
our that I know not what further measures to 
take until I have Sum further instructions in Re 
gard of the matter. It is my opinion that we 
Shall never Raise the men, unles the State asists 
us in Raising a part of the Bounty and the Sol 
diers gets their wages for their past Servises. 
Sir, a few lines from your Honour in Regard of 
the above, By way of instructions, will mutch ob 
lige your Humble Servant, 

Fredricksburgh February 20th 1778. 

To His Excelency George Clinton Esqr. Gov 

P. S. Sir, if there Be a late act past in Regard 
of Raising the men and a Bounty for them, please 
to Convey the Same as I have Had no opportu 
nity of acquainting my Self with it. The Returns 
of the Regment you Shall Have next week, 
which Should Have Had Before now, Had it 
not Been for the neglect of sum of the Captains 
not sending in their Returns. 

Colonel Ludington had, however, rather better 
success in holding his own regiment together than 
did some other colonels of militia, as the following 
return shows : 



Return of the Regiment of Militia of the 
County of Dutchess and State of New York. 
Command d by Collonel Henry Ludinton. 

Fredricksburgh Precinct March 23rd 1778. 



Coram d 



Comm d. 

. s 



John Crane s 112 4 1 60 

David Waterbury s 121 4 1 57 

John Haight s 121 3 51 

Hezekiah Meed s 1 2 

George Lane s 1 

Nathaniel Scribner s 1 

Joel Meed s 1 
Total Strength 

of the Regiment | | 7J12; 6 26 6J421 

Colonel Ludington and his regiment were again 
called to the defense of the Hudson at Fishkill in 
June, 1779, on the alarm caused by the British 
seizure of Verplanck s Point, and a few days later 
returned to the vicinity of Crom Pond to resume the 
local police work which formed so large a part of 
their duties. There, before daylight of June 24, they 
were surprised by an attack of about two hundred 
British cavalry, which had made a dash all the way 
up from New York. Nearly thirty of the militia 
were killed and wounded in the sharp skirmish which 
ensued. At the same time 130 British light infantry 



came across from Verplanck s Point and made a de 
monstration in aid of the cavalry. On another occa 
sion a similar attack was made while the Americans 
were at breakfast, close by the church, which at the 
time was used as an arsenal. 

After these services the regiment was marched 
home to Fredericksburgh and for a time disbanded. 
On this occasion Colonel Ludington wrote to Clinton 
as follows : 

Honoured Sir, I embrace this opportunity of 
acquainting you that according to Colo. Swart- 
wout s orders to me of Yesterday I thought 
Proper to discharge my Regt who I must beg 
leave to acquaint you have acted with the greatest 
Spirrit since they have been hear and have gon 
home with a full determination to turn out at a 
minute s warning. In my last I wrote you to 
know the mode adopted for Punishing those who 
have not turned out according to their being 
Warned, for I am highly sensible that if they are 
not brought to a sevear Punishment it will give 
offence to those Who have dun their Dutey. I 
must allso Return your Excellency thanks for 
Recommending to me Mr. McClennen who has 
truley answered the Character I have had of him 
as I have Experienced his services in Spiriting 
the Militia in these Parts and my Regt in Par 
ticular. I remain in the mean time 

with Respect your Excellency s most obedient 
Humble Servt HENEY LumNTON> 

Fredh Burgh Juley 11, 1779. 
To Governor Clinton. 



Later in the same year a radical reorganization of 
the militia forces was effected under the following 
orders : 

Poughkeepsie Oct. llth, 1779. 
Brigade Orders. 

Agreeable to General Orders of the 10th In 
stant issued by his Excellency the Govr., 1078 
Men, including Non Commissioned Officers, 
drums and fifes, are to be Detached out of Colo. 
Comdt. Swartwout s Brigade of Militia to Con 
tinue in Service for the term of three Months un 
less the particular service for which they are 
drawn out shall be sooner Completed. 

The Detachments from the several Regiments 
in this Brigade to be as follows, viz. 

From Colo. Graham s Regt 196 Men 

Colo. Frear s do 156 

Colo. Hopkins do 192 

Colo. Field s do 117 

Colo. Luddenton s do 144 

Colo. Van Der Burgh s do .... 118 

Colo. Brinckerhoff s do 155 

Total 1078 

The above Detachment to be formed into Two 
Regiments under Command of Colos. Graham 
and Hopkins, in the following manner, viz., 

The Detachments of Colos. Graham s, Frear s, 
Van Der Burgh s and 69 Men of Colo. Field s 
Regiments to be formed into one Regiment un 
der Command of Colo. Graham. 

The Detachments of Colos. Hopkins, Ludden- 
ton s, Brinckerhoff s, and 48 Men of Colo. Field s 



Regts. to be formed into another Regiment under 
Command of Colo. Hopkins. 

Colo. Graham s Field Officers to be Lieut. 
Colo. Birdsall and Ma jr. Hill, 




Lemuel Conklin 
Hugh Van Kleeck 

T . , T .. 
Israel Vail 

John Seton 

Colo. Frear s 


Colo. Van Der Burgh s 
Regt . 

Jonathan Darling 
and - 

Van Der Bogart 


Colo. Field s 
Regt . 

Colo. Hopkins Field Officers are Lieut. Colo. Griffen 
and Majr. Paine. 

n 4. ?^ D 




Geo Brinckerhoff 


Colo Hopkins 

Wm. Chamberlain 
Elijah Parks 


Jonas Parks 


Christian Dubois 
Colo. BrinckerhofPs Abraham Shults 


Colo. Field s 

William Swartwout 
Abraham Hoogland 



Colo. Luddenton and his officers being absent, he 
will with advice of his field officers nominate and 
furnish one Captain and Three Subalterns, to 
join Colo. Hopkins Regt. 

The above Detachments to be Compleated and 
at the place of Rendevous without Delay, Com- 
pleatly Equipped, Agreeable to Genl. Orders, to 
which the most strictest attention is to be paid. 
By Order of Colo. Comdr. Jac. Swartwout 


Thereafter Colonel Ludington and his regiment 
were frequently engaged in important work, espe 
cially during the time of doubt and dread caused by 
the treason of Arnold, and in the operations pre 
liminary to Washington s epoch-making march from 
the Hudson to the Chesapeake. But those services 
belonged to the other phases of public duty to which 
reference has been made and of which fuller con 
sideration must be reserved for another chapter. 




A NOTHER part of Henry Ludington s services 
<L\. to his country during the Revolution was in 
timately connected with that little known under 
world of the Secret Service the men who take their 
lives in their hands perhaps more perilously than the 
soldier in the open field, who have no stimulus of 
martial glory, who receive no public recognition, and 
whose very names are doomed to obscurity. A recent 
work of fiction, one of the best "historical novels" of 
our day "The Reckoning," by Mr. Robert W. 
Chambers gives a singularly dramatic and con 
vincing picture of the work of a Patriot spy in New 
York City in the Revolution, doing work which was 
hateful to him and yet which was of the highest im 
portance to Washington himself. It is a picture as 
true as it is graphic. An earlier work dealing with 
the same phase of Patriot service, "The Spy," of 
Fenimore Cooper, has long been familiar to the 
American public, and it has generally been assumed 
that its hero, "Harvey Birch," was an actual char 
acter, drawn from life; even more closely than the 
genius of "The Pilot" was drawn from the illustrious 
Paul Jones. Such indeed was the case, and with the 

. &A* 


? -. x 

4 "^ " *< 

x . L7V /&> 

/,,- ^ f >-? ^" * ^* 

^ ,>^S^--f v 


Fac-simile of Letter from Nath l Sackett, 
a DelEgatE tn the "Pravincial Cnngress nf the State nf New York," from 
Dutchess County and member of the Committee an Conspiracies. 

(Original paper in possession of Charles H. Ludington, New York City. 


original of "Harvey Birch," Enoch Crosby, Colonel 
Ludington was intimately associated. Indeed, be 
cause of his familiarity with the border-land between 
the British and American lines, and also because of 
his knowledge and judgment of men, his discretion, 
and his known trustworthiness, Colonel Ludington 
was selected, by Washington s instructions, to choose 
the man or men who should do the secret service of 
the Patriot cause within the British lines at New 
York, and to make the needed arrangements for his 
dispatch and for maintaining communication with 

Accordingly we find Nathaniel Sackett, of whom 
mention has already been made, addressing to Col 
onel Ludington this significant letter : 


you will proceed on inquiring for a proper per 
son to Remove into the City of New York, in 
your enquiry you are not to make any use of my 
name to any Person, but let it appear to be an act 
of your own unless you find one that in your opin 
ion and skill is possessed of abilitys to carry a 
secret matter into Execution, upon your finding 
such a Person and his consenting to Remove into 
the city you will then desire him to come with you 
immediately to me, and you will enjoin secrecy 
upon and direct him not to mention either his 
business or my name to any Person, any Person 
that you may converse with in a confidential man 
ner, you will Lay them under the strongest 
Bonds of secrecy in your Power, and lastly 
you will conduct the whole Business with the 



utmost secrecy in your Power and disclose only 
such parts as you may find absolutely necessary 
for procuring a proper Person to be imployed 
for Secret Purposes and will actually Remove 
to the City of New York. 

I am Sir your humble Servt. 

Frederick Burgh Precinct, 

Feby. 14th, 1777. 
To Colonel Henry Ludington Esqr. 

The purport of this was unmistakable. Colonel 
Ludington was to find some one to serve as a spy in 
New York, and he was to do it with such prudence 
and tact that nobody but himself would seem re 
sponsible for the negotiations until they had pro 
ceeded far enough to give assurance of the fitness 
and trustworthiness of the man selected for the 
work. Colonel Ludington proceeded promptly 
with the undertaking, and with commendable cau 
tion, as the following document shows : 

I do most solemnly swear by Almighty God 
Who Liveth forever and ever that I will well 
and Truly keep every matter and thing Com 
mitted to my Charge by Henry Ludington Esqr 
a profound secret, and that I will not Directly or 
indirectly either by words or actions signs or 
Tokens or by any other ways or means whatever 
disclose or divulge the same to any manner of 
Person or Persons whatever. 

Benajah Tubbs. 
Sworn before me Feb. 23, 1777. 


Benajah Tubbs was a well-approved military 
comrade of Colonel Ludington s, as appears from 
the records. In the Correspondence of the Pro 
vincial Congress of New York there appears a com 
munication from the Dutchess County Committee of 
Safety, under date of January 3, 1776, recommend 
ing Benajah Tubbs to be adjutant of "the regiment 
of militia lately commanded by Beverly Robinson, 
Esq.," together with Henry Ludington as 2nd 
major and John Kaine as colonel. The extent of 
Tubbs s services as a secret agent of the Revolution 
ary government does not appear, nor is it at this time 
possible to ascertain how many and what other men 
were selected by Colonel Ludington for such peril 
ous errands. The career of Enoch Crosby is, how 
ever, a matter of specific and exact record. It is to 
be found related not only in the fascinating pages of 
Cooper, but also in various affidavits made by Crosby 
himself, and others who knew him, at the time of his 
application for a pension for his services. These 
papers, which have been transcribed from the orig 
inals by Mr. Patrick, are in chief as follows : 

State of 1ST. Y. 
Co. Putnam. s 

On this 15th day of October in the year 1832 
personally appeared before the Court of Oyer 
and Terminer and General Jail Delivery of the 
said County of Putnam, Enoch Crosby, of the 
town of South East in the Co. of Putnam and 
State of New York, aged 82 years, who being- 


duly sworn according to law doth on his oath 
make the following declaration in order to ob 
tain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed 
June 7, 1832: 

That he entered the service of the U. S. under 
the following named officers and served as herein 
stated : 

That in the month of April or the fore part of 
May, 1775, he enlisted in the town of Danbury 
in the State of Connecticut into Captain Noble 
Benedict s Co. in Col. Waterbury s Regt. of 
troops to defend the country for 8 mos service. 
The regiment met at Greenwich in Ct., staid 
there two or three months, then went to N. Y. 
under Genl. Wooster. Staid in N. Y. a few 
weeks. The Regt. was then carried to Albany in 
sloops & went directly to Half Moon, was there 
a few days. Went thence to Ticonderoga, 
where the batteauxs furnished which were to con 
vey them further. Genl. Schuyler had the com 
mand of the Isle aux Nois, when Genl. S. being 
unwell, Genl. Montgomery had the command. 
The declarant went off to St. John which being 
by us at time besieged by the Americans in about 
5 weeks surrendered and the fort was taken. The 
decl. then went to Montreal, that he came from 
there with Col. Waterbury s regt to Albany, 
and having served the eight mos. was at that 
place (Albany) permitted to leave the regt. and 
return home, and that he had no written dis 
charge. And this dec. further says that in the 
latter part of the mo. of Aug., 1776, he enlisted 
into the regt. commanded by Col. Swartwout 
in Fredericksburgh, now Kent, in the County of 
Putnam and started to join the army at Kings - 

C118 ] 


bridge. The co. had left F. before declarant 
started & he started alone after his said enlist 
ment & on his way at a place in Westchester Co. 
about 2 miles from Pine s Bridge he fell in com 
pany with a stranger who accosted him & asked 
him if he was going down. Decl. replied he 
was. The stranger then asked if decl. was not 
afraid to venture alone, and said there were 
many rebels below and he would meet with diffi 
culty in getting down. The decl. perceived from 
the observation of the stranger that he supposed 
the decl. intended to go to the British, and will 
ing to encourage that misapprehension and turn 
it to the best advantage he asked if there was any 
mode which he the stranger could point out by 
which the decl. could get through safely. The 
stranger being satisfied the decl. was willing to 
join the British Army told him that there was a 
company raising in that county to join the Brit 
ish Army, that was nearly completed and in a 
few days would be ready to go down and that 
dec. had better join that co. and go down with 
them. The stranger finally gave to decl. his 
name, it was Bunker, and told the decl. where 
and shewed the house in which he lived and also 
told him that - - Fowler was to be the Captain 
of the Co. then raising, and - - Kipp Lieut. 
After having learned this much from Bunker 
the Decl. told him he was unwilling to wait until 
the Co. could be ready to march and would try 
and get through, and parted from him on his way 
down and continued until night, when he stopped 
at the house of a man who was called Esy Young, 
and put up there for the night. In the course of 
conversation with Esy Young in the evening 



decl. learned that he was a member of the Com. 
of Safety for the County of Westchester, and then 
communicated to him the information he had ob 
tained from Mr. Bunker. Esy Young requested 
the decl. to accompany him the next morning to 
the White Plains in Westchester Co. as the Com. 
of Safety for the Co. were on that day to meet at 
the Court House in that place The next morn 
ing the decl. in company with Esy Young went to 
the White Plains and found the Com. there sit 
ting. After Esy Young had had an interview 
with the Com. the decl. was sent for and went be 
fore the Com. then sitting in the Court Room 
and there communicated the information he had 
obtained from Bunker. The Com. after learning 
the situation of decl. that he was a soldier enlisted 
in Col. Swartwout s regiment and on his way to 
join it engaged to write to the Col. and explain 
why he did not join it, if he would consent to aid 
in the apprehension of the company then raising. 
It was by all thought best that he should not join 
the regiment but should act in a different char 
acter, as he could thus be more useful to his coun 
try. He was accordingly announced to Capt. 
Townsend, who was then at the White Plains 
commanding a company of Rangers, as a pris 
oner and the Captain was directed to keep him 
until further orders. 

In the evening after he was placed as a pris 
oner by Capt. Townsend he made an excuse to go 
out and was accompanied by a soldier, over a 
fence into a piece of corn then nearly or quite full 
grown. As soon as he was out of sight of the 
soldier he made the best of his way from the sol 
dier and when the soldier hailed him to return he 


was almost beyond hearing. An alarm gun was 
fired but decl. was far from danger. In the 
course of the night the decl. reached the house of 
the said Bunker, who got up and let him in. 
Decl. then related to Bunker the circumstances 
of his having been taken prisoner, of his going 
before the Com. at the Court House, of being 
put under the charge of Capt. Townsend, and of 
his escape ; that he had concluded to avail himself 
of the protection of the Co. raising in his neigh 
borhood to get down. The next morning Bunker 
went with decl. and introduced him as a good 
loyalist to several of the Co. Decl. remained 
some days with different individuals of the Co. 
and until it was about to go down, when the decl. 
went one night to the house of Esy Young to 
give information of the state and progress of the 
Co. The distance was four or five miles from 
Bunker s. At the house of Esy Young decl. 
found Capt. Townsend with a great part of his 
Co., and after giving the information he returned 
to the neighborhood of Bunker, and that night 
decl. with a great part of the Co. which was pro 
posing to go down were made prisoners. The 
next day all of them, about 30 in numbers, were 
marched to the White Plains and remained there 
several days, a part of the time locked up in jail 
with the other prisoners. The residue of the time 
he was with the Com. The prisoners were finally 
ordered to Fishkill in the Co. of Dutchess, where 
the State Convention was then sitting. The decl. 
went as a prisoner to Fishkill. Capt. Townsend 
with his Co. of Rangers took charge of the Co. at 
Fishkill. A Com. for Detecting Conspiracies 
was sitting, composed of John Jay, afterwards 


Gov. of N. Y., Zephaniah Platt, afterwards first 
Judge of Dutchess Co., Col. Duer of the Co. of 
Albany, and a Mr. Sackett. The decl. was called 
before that Com., who understood the character 
of the decl. and the nature of his services. This 
the Com. must have learned either from Capt. 
Townsend or from the Com. at White Plains. 
The decl. was examined under oath and his ex 
amination reduced to writing. The prisoners 
with decl. were kept whilst decl. remained at 
Fishkill in a building which had been occupied as 
a Hatter s shop, and they were guarded by a Co. 
of Rangers commanded by Capt. Clark. The 
decl. remained about a week at Fishkill, when he 
was bailed by Jonathan Hopkins. This was done 
to cover the character in which the decl. acted. 
Before the decl. was bailed the Fishkill Com. had 
requested him to continue in this service, and on 
decl. mentioning the fact of his having enlisted 
in Col. Swartwout s company and the necessity 
there was of his joining it, he was informed that 
he should be indemnified from that enlistment, 
that they would write to the Col. and inform him 
that decl. was in their service. 

The Com. then wished decl. to undertake a 
secret service over the river. He was furnished 
with a secret pass which was accordingly signed 
by the Com., which is now lost, and directed to go 
to the house of Nicholas Brauns, near the mouth 
of the Wappinger s Creek, who would take him 
across the river, and there to proceed to the house 
of John Russell, about ten miles from the river, 
and make such inquiries and discoveries as he 
could. He proceeded according to directions to 
said Brauns and from thence to John Russell, 


and there hired himself to said Russell to work 
for him, but for no definite time. This was a 
neighborhood of Loyalists and it was expected 
that a company was there raising but was not 
completed. Before decl. left Russell on this ser 
vice a time was fixed for him to recross the river 
and give information to some one of the Com. 
who was to meet him. This time having arrived 
and the Co. not being completed the decl. re- 
crossed the river and met Zephaniah Platt, one of 
the Com., and gave him all the information he 
had obtained. Decl. was directed to recross the 
river to the neighborhood of Russell and on a 
time fixed again to meet the Com. on the east side 
of the river. Decl. returned to Russell s neigh 
borhood, soon became intimate with the Loyal 
ists, was introduced to Capt. Robinson, said to be 
an English officer and who was to command the 
Co. then raising. Capt. Robinson occupied a 
cave in the mountains, and decl. having agreed 
to go with the Co. was invited and accepted of the 
invitation to lodge with Robinson in the cave. 
They slept together nearly a week in the cave, 
and the time for the Co. to start having been 
fixed and the route designated to pass Severn s 
to Bush Carrick s, where they were to stop the 
first night. The time for starting having arrived 
before the appointed time to meet the Com. on the 
east side of the river, the decl. in order to get an 
opportunity to convey information to Fishkill 
recommended that each man should the night be 
fore they started sleep where he chose, and that 
each should be by himself, for if they should be 
discovered that night together all would be taken, 
which would be avoided if they were separated. 


The proposition was acceded to, and when they 
separated decl. not having time to go to Fishkill, 
and as the only and as it appeared the best means 
of giving information was to go to Mr. Purdy, 
who was a stranger to decl. and all he knew of 
him was that the Tories called him a wicked rebel 
and said he ought to die. Decl. went and found 
said Purdy and informed him of the situation of 
affairs, of the time the Co. was to start, and the 
place which they were to stop the first night, and 
requested him to go to Fishkill and give the in 
formation to the Com. Purdy assured the decl. 
that the information should be given. Decl. re 
turned to Russell s and lodged in his house. The 
following evening the Co. assembled, consisting 
about 30 men, and started from Russell s house, 
which was in the town of Marlborough, County 
of Ulster, for N. Y., and in the course of the 
night arrived at Bush Carrick s, and went into 
the barn to lodge after taking refreshments. Be 
fore morning the barn was surrounded by Amer 
ican troops, and the whole company, including 
Capt. Robinson, were made prisoners. The 
troops who took the company prisoners were com 
manded by Capt. Melancthon Smith, who com 
manded a company of Rangers at Fishkill. His 
Co. crossed the river to perform this service. Col. 
Duer was with Capt. Smith s Co. on this expedi 
tion. The prisoners including decl. were marched 
to Fishkill & confined in the stone church, in 
which there was near two hundred prisoners. 
After remaining one night in the church the Com. 
sent for decl. and told him it was unsafe for him 
to remain with the prisoners as the least suspicion 
of the course he had pursued would be fatal to 


him, and advised him to leave the village of Fish- 
kill and to remain where they could call on him if 
his services should be wanted. Decl. went to the 
house of a Dutchman, a farmer, whose name is 
forgotten, about five miles from the village of 
Fishkill, and there went to work making shoes. 
After decl. had made arrangements for working 
at shoes, he informed Mr. Sackett, one of the 
Com., where he could be found if he should be 
wanted. In about a week decl. reed, a letter from 
the Com., requesting him to meet one of the Com. 
at the house of Dr. Osborn, about one mile from 
Fishkill. Decl. according to the request went to 
the house of Dr. Osborn, and soon after John Jay 
came there, enquired for the Dr., who was absent, 
enquired for medicine, but found none he wanted. 
He came out of the house and went to his horse, 
near which decl. stood, and as he passed he said 
in a low voice "It won t do, there are too many 
around. Return to your work." Decl. went back 
and went to work at shoes, but within a day or 
two was again notified and a horse sent to him, 
requiring him to go to Bennington in Vt. and 
from there westerly to a place called Maloons- 
cock, and there call on Hazard Wilcox, a Tory 
of much notoriety, and ascertain if anything was 
going on there injurious to the common cause. 
Decl. followed his instructions, found Wilcox, 
but could not learn that any secret measure was 
then projected against the interest of the coun 
try. At that place learned from Wilcox a list of 
persons friendly to the British cause, who could 
be safely trusted, from that place quite down to 
the south part of Dutchess County. Decl. fol 
lowed directions of said Wilcox and called on diff - 


erent individuals by him mentioned, but could 
discover nothing of importance, until he reached 
the town of Pawlings in Dutchess County, where 
he called upon a Dr. whose name he thinks was 
Prosser, and informed him that he wished to go 
below but was fearful of some trouble. The Dr. 
informed him there was a Co. raising in that 
vicinity to go to N. Y. to join the British army, 
that the Captain s name was Sheldon, that he had 
been down and got a commission, that he, Pros 
ser, was doctoring the Lieut., whose name w r as 
Chase, that if decl. would wait a few days he 
could safely go down with that Co., that he could 
stay about the neighborhood and should be in 
formed when the Co. was ready, that decl. re 
mained in that vicinity, became acquainted with 
several of the persons who were going with that 
Co., was acquainted with Lieut. Chase, but never 
saw the Capt. to form any acquaintance with him. 
The season had got so far advanced that the Co. 
was about to start to join the enemy to be ready 
for an early campaign in 1777. It was about the 
last of Feb. of that year when a plan was fixed 
and also a time for meeting. It was situated half 
a mile from the road and about 3 miles from a 
house then occupied by Col. Morehouse, a militia 
Col. After the time was fixed for the meeting of 
Capt. Sheldon s Co., the deponent went in the 
night to Col. Morehouse & informed him of the 
situation, of the Co., of the time appointed for 
meeting, of the place, etc., and Morehouse in 
formed decl. that they should be attended to. 
The decl. remained almost one month in this 
neighborhood, and once in the time met Mr. 
Sackett, one of the Com., at Col. Ludington s^ 


and apprised him what was going on, and was to 
have given the Com. intelligence when the Co. 
was to march, but the shortness of the time be 
tween the final arrangement and the time of start 
ing was such that decl. was obliged to give the in 
formation to Col. Morehouse. The Co., consist 
ing of about 30, met at the time and place ap 
pointed, and after they had been there an hour 
or two two young men of the Co. came in & said 
there was a gathering under arms at Old More- 
house s. The inquiry became general, What 
could it mean? Was there any traitor in the 
Company? The Captain soon called one or two 
of the Company out of the door for the purpose 
of private conversation about the situation, & 
very soon decl. heard the cry "Stand! Stand!" 
Those out the door ran, but were soon met by a 
Co. coming from a different direction, they were 
taken, the house surrounded & the Co. all made 
prisoners. The Col. then ordered them to be tied 
together two by two. They came to decl. and he 
urged to be excused from going as he was lame 
and could not travel. The Col. replied "You 
shall go, dead or alive, & if no other way you shall 
be carried on the horse with me." The rest were 
marched off & decl. put onto the horse with Col. 
Morehouse and when the prisoners were marched 
into the house the decl. with the permission of 
Morehouse left them and made the best of his 
way to Col. Ludington s and there informed him 
about daylight in the morning. From thence he 
went to Fishkill to the house of Dr. Van Wyck 
where John Jay boarded, and there informed him 
of all the occurrences on that northern expedition. 
Said Jay requested decl. to come before the Com. 



the next night, when they would be ready to re 
ceive him. He accordingly went before the Com., 
where he declared under oath all that had oc 
curred since he had seen them. The Com. then 
directed him to go to the house of Col. Van Ness 
in Albany County, and there take directions from 
him. He went to Van Ness s house and was di 
rected by him to go north, but decl. cannot tell 
the place. The duty was performed, but nothing 
material discovered further than that the confisca 
tion of the personal property of the Tories and 
leasing of their lands had a great tendency to dis 
courage them from joining the British army. 
Decl. then returned to Po keepsie, where Egbert 
Benson and Melancthon Smith entered in the 
room of the Fishkill Com. There was no more 
business in that town in which they wished to em 
ploy decl., and he being apprehensive that a 
longer continuance in that employment would be 
dangerous & the time for which he enlisted in Col. 
Swartwout s regiment having expired, he came 
home with the approbation of the Com. 

This was about the last of May, 1777, and in 
the course of the fall, after decl. saw Col. Swart- 
wout at his house in Fishkill & then talked over 
the subject of this employment of the decl. by the 
Com. & the Col. told decl. that he had drawn his 
pay the same as if he had been with the Reg t, 
that the Paymaster of the Reg t lived in the town 
of Hurley in Ulster Co. Decl. went to the Pay 
master and rec d his pay for nine months service 
or for the term for which the regiment was raised. 
The decl. was employed in the secret service for a 
period of full 9 months. 

This decl. further says that in the year 1779 in 


the month of May he enlisted in a company com 
manded by Captain Jonah Hallett for six 
months. Decl. enlisted as a Sergeant in said 
Hallett s Co. The term of enlistment was per 
formed on the lines in the Co. of Westchester, 
moving from place to place to guard the country 
and to detect Tories; that the Co. continued in 
this service until after Stony Point was taken by 
Genl. Wayne & abandoned & also reoccupied & 
abandoned by the English troops, when the Co. 
was ordered over the river & joined the regiment 
at Stony Point and continued there in making 
preparations for building a block house until the 
time of the expiration of the service, when the Co. 
was ordered to march to Po keepsie to be dis 
charged by the Governor. When they arrived the 
Governor was absent, the Co. was billetted out & 
decl. was billetted upon the family of Dr. Tap- 
pen. After remaining a day or two and the Gov 
ernor not arriving they were discharged. During 
this service in Westchester Co. the following oc 
currence took place: A British vessel lay at an 
chor near Tiller s Point & a party of sailors & 
marines came on shore & marched a short distance 
from the water, where a party of our men got 
between them & the water & made them pris 
oners. They were marched to the place where the 
Co. lay a little east of Tiller s Point. The num 
ber of prisoners decl. thinks was 12 and the cap 
tors 6. The prisoners were afterward sent to 
Po keepsie. 

The decl. further says that in the month of 
May in the year 1780 he again enlisted for 6 
months in a Co. commanded by Capt. Ludington 
in Col. Benschoten s Regt. He entered as a 


Sergeant in the town of Fredericksburgh, now 
the town of Kent, Putnam Co. The Regt. as 
sembled at Fishkill & marched to West Point & 
remained there a few days, some 10 or 15. A call 
was made for troops to fill up the Brigade or 
Brigades under the command of General De La 
Fayette and they were to be raised by drafts or 
volunteers. A call was made for volunteers and 
decl. with others volunteered & made a Co. which 
was put under Capt. Daniel Delavan. The decl. 
continued to be a Sergeant in Delavan s Co. Col. 
Philip Van Courtland commanded the Regt. to 
which Capt. Delavan s Co. was attached. Soon 
after the Co. was formed they crossed the river 
from West Point and marched to Peekskill, 
where they remained one night, the next day 
marched to Verplanck s Point and crossed over 
to Stony Point, & from thence made the best of 
their way to New Jersey where they remained 
until late in the fall, when the time of enlistment 
having expired they were discharged, after hav 
ing fully and faithfully performed the service of 
6 months for which he enlisted. During the cam 
paign in New Jersey Major Andre was arrested, 
condemned & executed. Several of the soldiers 
of Capt. Delavan s Co. went to see him executed. 
The decl. was Sergeant of the guard that day & 
could not go to see the execution. 

The decl. further says that he has no documen 
tary evidence of his service and that he knows of 
no person who can testify to his services other 
than those whose depositions are hereto annexed. 
The decl. hereby relinquishes every claim to a 
pension or annuity except the present & declares 
that his name is not on the pension roll agency 



of any State. The decl. was born in a place called 
Harwich in the County of Barnstable and State 
of Mass, in the year 1750. The decl. has a record 
of his age. The decl. was living in the town of 
Danbury in the State of Conn when he enlisted in 
the service, that service the Revolutionary War. 
The decl. has resided in the State of New York 
in what is now the Co. of Putnam, formerly Co. 
of Dutchess, & now lives in the same Co. & on the 
same farm where he has lived for the last 50 years. 
The decl. always volunteered in every enlistment 
& to perform all the service which he performed 
as detailed in this declaration. That the decl. was 
acquainted with the following officers who were 
with the troops where he served : Genl. Schuyler, 
Gen. Montgomery, Gen. Wooster, Col. Water- 
bury, Col. Holmes, Gen. De La Fayette, Gen. 
Poor, Col. Van Courtland, Col. Benschoten, Col. 
Ludington. The decl. never rec d. any written 
discharge & if he ever received a Sergeant s war 
rant it is through time or accident lost or de 
stroyed. This decl. is known to Samuel Wash- 
burn, a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of 
the Co. of Putnam; Beneah Y. Morse, a clergy 
man in his neighborhood and who he believes can 
testify to his character for veracity & good be 
havior & thus belief of his services as a Soldier of 
the Revolution. 


Sworn to & Subscribed this day and year afore 

I. Morehouse, Clerk of said Court. 


Appended to this declaration were affidavits of 
Judge Washburn and the Rev. Mr. Morse, confirm 
ing so far as their knowledge extended the state 
ments of Enoch Crosby. There were also similar 
affidavits of Timothy Wood, Jabez Berry, and 
Daniel Crawford, who had been fellow soldiers with 
Crosby in the war. 

Enough has been said already to indicate the in 
timate relations which existed between Crosby and 
Colonel Ludington. While the spy was on service 
in Dutchess County, in connection with Prosser and 
his company, he was a frequent visitor at Luding- 
ton s house, and often lay hidden securely there 
while Tories were searching for him. (Between 
Prosser and Colonel Ludington, by the way, as we 
shall presently see, a peculiarly bitter personal feud 
existed. ) Colonel Ludington s daughters, Sibyl and 
Rebecca, were also privy to Crosby s doings, and had 
a code of signals, by means of which they frequently 
admitted him in secrecy and safety to the house, 
where he was fed and lodged. In addition to Crosby 
and to Benajah Tubbs, who was mentioned at the 
beginning of this chapter, Colonel Ludington fur 
nished numerous other members of the Secret Service 
from the ranks of his own regiment, and was himself 
the recipient of their clandestine reports, some of 
which were transmitted by him to the Committee of 
Safety and some to the headquarters of General 






"T) ETWEEN the lines" is always a place of pe- 
-D culiar difficulty and danger. The Border States 
in our Civil War were the deadliest battle-grounds, 
not only the meeting-places of the contending armies 
but also the scene of innumerable local feuds and 
conflicts between the inhabitants, half of whom in 
clined to one side and half to the other. A similar 
position was held in the Revolution by Westchester 
and Dutchess counties, lying between the British at 
the south and the Americans at the north. As this 
was the most fertile and productive agricultural 
region easily accessible from New York, it was fre 
quently invaded by British foraging parties, seek 
ing the supplies which were needed by the army in 
the city and which were not easily to be got else 
where. Nor did the region altogether escape similar 
attentions from the American Army. More than 
once, indeed, organized raids were made by the latter 
southward into the part of the debatable ground 
lying nearest to the British lines, not only to secure 
forage and other supplies for American use but also 
to prevent them from falling into the hands of the 
British. Himself a resident of that region, Colonel 


Ludington was well fitted to deal with such local 
conditions, and accordingly a large third part of his 
public services were thus rendered. Entries in his 
ledger indicate that he was a member of the Dutch- 
ess County Committee of Safety on June 11, 1776, 
and for some time thereafter. This was the commit 
tee which was constituted for the purpose of "in 
quiring into, detecting and defeating all conspiracies 
formed in this State against the liberties of Amer 
ica." When he was no longer a member of the com 
mittee he was one of its most efficient executive 
agents, and much of the services of himself and his 
regiment were given in pursuance of the plans of 
that committee. 

In the records of the Committee of Safety under 
date of October 14, 1776, we find that "Col. Luding- 
ton informed a member that he has 20 or more Arms, 
taken from disaffected persons, now in his possession, 
and requests to know how they shall be disposed of. 
Ordered, That Col. Ludington send all arms in his 
possession, taken from disaffected persons, to this 
Committee without delay, and that he sends his ac 
count for repairing to the Auditor-General." The 
"account for repairing" refers to the work done by 
Colonel Ludington on the captured weapons to 
make them serviceable for use in the American 
Army; many of the Tories deliberately breaking 
their muskets or depriving them of essential parts, 
before surrendering them. A little later William 
Duer, one of the foremost members of the Commit- 



tee, reported that "large quantities of hay and corn 
were purchased by the Quarter Master General for 
use of the Continental Army in the eastern part of 
this (Dutchess) County and the western part of 
Connecticut, that it would be hardly practicable to 
convey the same to the army unless the roads leading 
from the Oblong and Fredericksburgh towards 
Pine s Bridge and North Castle were better repaired. 
He therefore in behalf of General Mifflin, Quarter 
Master General of the Continental Army, prayed 
that this House would devise ways and means of 
facilitating the above mentioned communication, not 
doubting but so necessary an expenditure would be 
cheerfully reimbursed from the Continental Treas 
ury. On taking the application of Mr. Duer into 
consideration, Resolved, That it will be necessary to 
repair the following Roads in order to facilitate the 
cartage of forage to the Continental Army, from the 
house of Col. Henry Ludington thence to Samuel 
Washburn s, being 8 miles ; the road which runs east 
from Col. Harry Ludington s to the Store of Mal 
colm Morrison s and thence south to the Mills of 
Samuel Washburn, being 12 miles. Resolved That 
Col. Ludington detach from his Regiment 100 men 
for the purpose of repairing that part of the road 
which is first mentioned, being in distance 8 Miles 
. . . Ordered, that copies of these Resolutions be 
immediately transmitted to the Supts. above men 
tioned, who are directed to communicate them with 
out loss of time to Cols. Fields and Luddington." 



For this road-mending work the Committee fixed 
the price of labor at ten shillings a day, exclusive of 
subsistence, for the superintendents, and four shill 
ings a day for the men, the latter to provide their 
own sustenance. They had power to impress teams 
and carts, and to pay for each ox-cart and two yoke 
of cattle sixteen shillings, and for each wagon twelve 
shillings. Those who remember the common condi 
tion of roads in that part of the State a score of years 
ago, will appreciate what need there must have been 
a century before of repairs and improvements. 

The varied character of Colonel Ludington s ser 
vices in the first years of the Revolution is indicated 
by the entries in his ledger. Thus in November, 
1776, we find him charging the Committee for in 
quiring into and detecting conspiracies against the 
State of New York with "4 days service riding with 
Nathaniel Sackett in order to collect evidence, at 21 
shillings, 4 days, <4 5 4." On November 21, 
1776: "Then began the service of buying hay and 
grain for the use of the Continental Army by an 
agreement with Wm. Duer." On January 1, 1777: 
"Then stopped the service of buying hay, being in 
all 41 days at 20 shillings per day." In November, 
1777: "Then engaged in the Commissary Depart 
ment under Deputy Commissary General and con 
tinued on the service until the 8th of January, 48 
days in all at 32 shillings per day, 58 16 s." 

A number of persons were arrested and taken be 
fore the Committee at Fishkill in December, 1776, 

C 1361] 


and on December 20 one of them, David Aikins, 
made affidavit: "That on or about the 29th day of 
November last, he set out from home with a pass 
from Colonel Henry Ludington to go to Horse 
Neck to buy rum; and further stated he was disap 
pointed in getting it. He then proceeded to find 
one Barnes Hatfield who owed him a considerable 
sum of money, but not finding him he went to see 
Isaac Williams who had married his cousin, and 
while there he was captured by Rogers s Rangers 
(British) and afterwards was taken before a Major 
near King s Bridge. The Major asked him how he 
could clear himself from the rebel pass found upon 
him. He said he came down upon a particular er 
rand from Captain Alexander Grant s wife to him 
and if he would send him to Capt. Grant or Capt. 
Archbd. Campbell he would prove his character. 
Upon his arrival to Capt. Campbell said he was a 
prisoner and it was in his power to discharge him. 
Campbell said he would discharge him if he would 
carry some papers and errands to certain persons in 
his neighborhood and be secret about it. He prom 
ised and Captain Campbell gave him two printed 
papers and protections from General Howe for Mal 
colm Morrison, John Kain, Alexander Kidd, Mat 
thew Patterson, Charles Collins and one for him 
self." In an affidavit two days later the Patterson 
mentioned declared: "That he told Akins that he did 
not chuse to have anything to do with such things, 
and further saith that there was a Man in the room, 

cm 3 


meaning Colo. Luddinton, who if he knew what 
Aikins said would immediately send him to Con 
gress, but did not deem it expedient to mention to 
Col. Ludington." 

Malcolm Morrison appears to have been ap 
prehended on suspicion and to have been held for a 
time at Kingston jail, whence he sent, on February 
19, 1777, a petition in which he said: "Your peti 
tioner has always been ready in assisting both officers 
and soldiers in their publick business of the States 
and in a most generous manner has advanced them 
Cash for their Different Reliefs, and is at present a 
very considerable sum out of pocket on that account 
and has received no part of such sum except six 
pounds lent to Colo. Luddleton and Wm. Griffin to 
enable them to find out that pernicious plot of John 
Miller and Constant Nickerson, Reference being had 
to these gentlemen for the truth of his advice & as 
sistance in bringing that plot to light." Morrison 
took the oath of allegiance and was released. The 
Nickerson referred to was doubtless Captain "Josh" 
Nickerson, of the Swamp, near Fredericksburgh, a 
notorious Tory. He enlisted and drilled a large 
number of men, with the design of taking them to 
join General Howe s army in New York. Their 
plans and meetings were all supposed to be kept a 
profound secret, but Colonel Ludington learned of 
them and made counter plans for the capture of the 
whole party. To that end he sent one of his tenants 
as a spy to ascertain the number, place of meeting, 



etc., of the Tories. This spy, after some difficulty, 
fell in with one of the party and pretended to him 
that he was desirous of enlisting in the British Army. 
He was thereupon taken to Nickerson and enrolled. 
He ascertained that a certain night had been ap 
pointed for their setting out for New York, and also 
that the roster of the company was kept concealed in 
a hollow walking-stick which Nickerson always had 
by him. This information was promptly conveyed 
to Colonel Ludington, who forthwith assembled his 
regiment, surrounded Nickerson and his company on 
the night set for their departure for New York, and 
took them all prisoners. The documentary evidence 
of their guilt was found on the written roll, and 
Nickerson was vastly chagrined when Colonel Lud 
ington bade him give up the cane and then opened it 
and took out the hidden paper. 

The southern part of Dutchess County, now Put 
nam County, was, in fact, one of the most critical 
danger spots in the whole country, as a passage in 
the Journal of the Convention of the State of New 
York shows, under date of Sunday morning, May 4, 

Capt. Delavan, who being called before the 
Convention, after giving information upon the 
subject contained in the letters brought by him, 
further informed the House, That the disaffected 
persons are very numerous in the southern parts 
of Dutchess County, and that without doubt they 
will fall upon the Whigs whenever the enemy 



attack our army at Peekskill or at the forts in the 
Highlands; they therefore request the Conven 
tion to take some measure in the premises. There 
upon Resolved, That Mr. Jay, Colo. Thomas, 
Colo. Ludington be Commissioners to prevent, 
quell and subdue all insurrections and disaffec- 
tions in the Counties of Dutchess and Westches- 
ter, and to take every measure for that pur 
pose which they shall deem necessary; and that 
the} 7 cooperate with Messrs. Robert R. Living 
ston, Zephaniah Platt and Matthew Cantine, a 
committee appointed yesterday, for the like pur 
pose in the Manor of Livingston and Rhinebeck 
Precinct. Resolved, That the said Commissioners 
immediately collect with the assistance of Gen 
eral McDougall, or General George Clinton, or 
from the militia of the County of Dutchess, 
whichever shall appear to them most expeditious, 
a force sufficient for the purpose and also to com 
ply with the following instructions, to wit: Gen 
tlemen : You are to begin in the southern part of 
the County of Dutchess and proceed to the north 
ward, and in your progress secure the disaffected, 
call out the whole militia, and destroy all such as 
shall be found in arms to oppose you. When you 
shall meet with the Committee above mentioned 
you are to act in concert with them, to secure the 
prisoners you shall have respectively made, to 
dismiss such of the militia as you may think 
proper, and with the remainder march into the 
County of Westchester by different ways, con 
certing at the same time such measures with Gen 
eral McDougall or other commanding officer at 
Peekskill as will effectually clear said county of 
Westchester of all dangerous and disaffected 

[140 3 


persons. You are on every occasion, by every 
means in your power (torture excepted) to com 
pel the discovery and delivery of spies or other 
emissaries of the enemy, who you may have 
reason to believe are concealed in any part of the 
country through which you may make progress 
and upon due proof immediately execute them in 

A copy of the resolutions was sent to Livingston, 
Platt, and Cantine, with additional instructions to 
conform with the resolutions sent them, and after 
having cleared the manor of Livingston and the pre 
cinct of Rhinebeck of all dangerous and disaffected 
inhabitants, to proceed southward until they met 
with Jay, Thomas, and Ludington, conducting 
themselves in accordance with the resolutions; and 
when they had met with them, immediately to form 
a proper plan and endeavor to carry the plan into 
immediate execution. Discretion was given to vary 
from instructions as the circumstances might re 
quire. Copies of the intelligence received by the 
Convention were sent to the commissioners. A few 
days later, under date of May 8, Livingston, Platt 
and Cantine reported that the number of conspira 
tors was far greater than they had imagined, almost 
everybody in the upper manor, particularly the east 
ern part of it, being disaffected, and they urged that 
courts martial were absolutely necessary for dealing 
with the chief offenders. As for Jay, Thomas, and 
Ludington, they entered upon their part of the work 


with zeal, but found themselves somewhat hampered 
by other demands made upon them and by the un 
willingness of some of the militia to engage in the 
service of the Continental Army. On June 25 this 
matter was brought before the Convention, and it 

Resolved, That whereas information hath been 
given to this Congress that certain Captains in 
Col. Luddington s regiment of militia in Dutch- 
ess County have refused to draft out of their 
respective companies for the purpose of brigade 
of militia to be raised in this county for the Con 
tinental service as recommended by this Congress 
in pursuance of the resolves of the Continental 
Congress of the 1st, 3rd and 4th inst. Resolved, 
That the general committee of the said county be 
requested to make inquiry into the premises, and 
upon due proof of the charge against the said 
captains, to send them under proper guard to this 
Congress to be dealt with according to their de 

During that summer Colonel Ludington seems to 
have been much engaged with duties in Westchester 
County. Thus in General Putnam s general orders 
we find, under date of White Plains, September 19, 
1777, the following: 

Colo. Ludington to furnish guards and pa- 
troles from the camp to the North River. Ma jr. 
Gray to Send a guard and patrole on the road 
between Stephen Woods and the North River. 


Two days later, on September 21, the order ran: 

Officer of the Day to-morrow Colo Ludenton 
the same No to go on Piquit to-night as Last 
night & on the same roads great care to be taken 
not to put any on this Piquit but such in whose 
Fidelity the greatest Confidence may be Placed. 
Colo Ludington & Major Gray will guard the 
same Roads as yesterday. Patroleing Partys 
are Constantly to be kept up. 

Again, the next day, the order ran: "The guards 
and Piquits are to be kept up also Ma jr. Gray & 
Colo Ludington as has been kept before/ 

The work of detecting and arresting traitors with 
in the American lines occupied much of Colonel Lud- 
ington s attention, and in it he seems to have been 
particularly energetic and effective. His wide know 
ledge of men and affairs in Westchester and Dutch- 
ess counties caused frequent appeal to be made to 
him for information concerning suspicious persons. 
Thus Lieutenant-Colonel Dimon in September, 
1777, wrote to General Putnam as follows: 

Harrison s Purchase Sept r 12th 1777. 

Hon d Sir, 

Enclosed I have sent a Return of the Regt. 
Also have sent for your Honor s Examination, 
three Prisoners (viz) John Crabb, an Inhabitant 
of Fredericsburg, taken up at White-plains, who 
said he was going to Horseneck to buy Salt, but 
on being searched, it appeared that 2/6 in paper 
& 4/6 or 5/ in hard Mony was all the Mony he 
had in Possession, & what renders his Conduct 


still more suspicious, was that, James Knox, an 
other of the Prisoners, was in Company with him, 
when first discovered by our Men, but made his 
Escape from them, & was next Day taken up 
near New Rochelle, & who confesses he was going 
to the Enemy: s d Crabb desiring a Man might 
be sent to Col. Luddington, to obtain his Char 
acter, to whom he said he was known; I acord- 
ingly desired Col. Luddington (to) send his 
Character, which he did, & which I have sent en 
closed. But the third, as I imagine the greatest 
Villian of three, named Hachaliah Merrit was 
taken in East Chester early in the Morning after 
being out all Night with his Great Coat & 
Blanket, & armed with a loaded Pistoll, & who 
does not pretend to say any thing in his own Jus 
tification. I am with great Esteem, your Hon 
our s most humble Servant. 

Major Genl. Putman. 

Accompanying this was Colonel Ludington s 
reply to the appeal for a "character" for the prisoner 
Crabb, which could have given that worthy little 
comfort : 

Dear Sir, 

I have Inquired into the Character of the Said 
Jno. Crabb and find him to be an Enemy to his 
Country therefore shall Expect he will be 
Treated as Such and am Sir 

Your Very humble Serv t 

Sept rlO:1777. 

To Colo. David Demmon. 


A few days later Colonel Ludington himself wrote 
to Putnam : 

Philipse Burgh Sept r 12th 1777. 

I have sent you one Elijah Taylor; his Crime 
is as Follows: he pretends he came from below 
our Lines because he was Suspected to be a friend 
to us; a few days after he came to me with his 
Brother in Law from Milesquare pretending he 
had lost a Horse and applied to me for Orders to 
take him where he could find him. I gave him 
permission to search for his Horse any where he 
pleased above our Lines but not to Return home 
without calling on me, but Instead of Calling, 
Returned home and soon after came up again. I 
found by his Conduct that was not his Arrent 
(errand) for at the Same time he and the said 
Taylor was Laying a Plan to steal our horses. 
The way I got Information was that one Dudely 
Bailey, a Sutler to our Regiment, was in Con 
versation with the said Taylor concerning their 
Losing Horses, whereupon the said Taylor told 
him they had Lost Horses and knew where to 
find them but did not care about them for he 
could take them off in the Night; then he ask d 
Bailey where the Horses belonging to the Regi 
ment were kept, and where our Centenals were 
posted, in order that he might Carry his plan in 
Execution; and he further told him it would not 
be Long before we should be Routed, for a few 
men might do it, as we were Obliged to post our 
selves in Houses. He further agread with Baily 
for him to go down as far as Milesquare to 
one Benjamin Taylor s and there stay until the 


s d Taylor could go to the Hessian Generals and 
when he Return d he would put him in good 
Business where he might Earn a Dollar pr day. 
he further said that When he makes his Report 
to the General that he might live like a Gentle 
man without doing any work. He further Ac 
quainted him he had been through your Camps 
at Peekskill as far up as Poughkeepsy and there 
were Several Spies out among whom was an 
Hessian Officer, and upon them Circumstances I 
have sent you the Said Taylor. For further In 
formation Refer you to the said Bailey as an 
Evidence to the truth of the Matter who shall be 
sent up to you whenever I Receive your Order 
for that purpose. 

I have Likewise sent up three other prisoners, 
Jacob Read, Abraham Aston & Joseph Brown, 
the two former were taken up on Suspicion of 
Carrying on a dangerous Correspondence with 
the Enemy and the Latter is a deserter from 
Colo. Willis s Regt. and Capt. Champion s 
Comp y of the Continental Troops. I am your 
honour s Humble Serv t 


P. S. Should be Oblig d to your Honour to give 
the Bearer some direction where he may draw 
some Cordage for the use of the Teams. I am as 
above H. L. 

To Genl. Putnam at Head Quarters Peekskill. 

Jacob Read, or Rhead, promptly wrote to Clinton, 
protesting that he had always been a true friend of 
his country and had repeatedly been employed in its 


service, and that therefore he conceived himself to 
have been most unjustly treated in being arrested as 
a traitor. He begged to be examined immediately 
and to be set at liberty on proof of his innocence. 

In the fall of 1777 there was a scarcity of pro 
visions in Westchester and Dutchess counties, and 
the Tories sought further to embarrass the American 
cause by shipping all provisions they could secure to 
the British Army. On this account the following let 
ter was addressed by Colonel Ludington and others 
to the Council of Safety for the State of New York: 

Dutchess Co. 

3rd December, 1777. 
Gent m : 

Nothing but the strongest necessity could in 
duce us to trouble you with an application of so 
extraordinary a nature, but if we are esteemed 
worthy of your confidence as friends to our strug 
gling country our sincerity will atone for what in 
common cases might appear indecent. Our in 
vaded State has not only been an object of the 
special designs of our common enemy, but ob 
noxious to the wicked, mercenary intrigues of a 
number of engrossing Jockies who have drained 
this part of the State of the article of bread to such 
a degree that we have reason to fear there is not 
enough left for the support of the inhabitants. We 
have for some months past heard of one Holmes 
who has been purchasing wheat and flour in these 
parts with which the well affected are universally 
ill-provided. This man with us is of doubtful char 
acter, his conversations are of the disaffected sort 
entirely. He has now moving from Fishkill to- 


ward Newark we think not less than one hundred 
barrels of flour, for which he says he has your per 
mit, the which we have not seen. However we 
have, at the universal call of the people, concluded 
to stop the flour and Holmes himself until this 
express may return. We ourselves think from 
the conduct of this man that his designs are bad. 
We have the honor to be your humble servants, 


To the Honorable the Council of Safety for the 
State of N. Y. 

More than two months later Crane and Luding- 
ton wrote to Governor Clinton on the same matter: 

Southeast Precinct, 16th February, 1778. 
May it Please Your Excellency, 

We about Two Months ago presumed to stop 
a parcel of Flour said to be the property of one 
Helmes made immediate Report thereof to the 
Council of Safety in answer we were favoured 
with a coppy of the Licence Granted by the 
Council to the said Helms, with a Coppy of the 
Oath on which said Licence was Granted & with 
Directions from the Council that in Case the Con 
duct of sd Helms was not Correspondant with 
the Tennor of sd Oath and Licence to apprehend 
and committ him for Tryal and Detain the Flour. 
Previous to the Return of the Express Dis 
patched with our Report to the Council Helms 
made his Escape and has not appeared here since. 


The Flour was Hurried up some in old Cyder 
Hogsheads the Rest in Barrels not well secured 
has been exposed to wett and is in Danger of 
Spoiling. Your Excellencies Directions Respect 
ing this matter will be Esteemed as a favour done 
to your most Obedient and Humble Servants 

His Excellency Governor Clinton. 

The man Holmes mentioned was Colonel John 
Holmes, one of the most wary and energetic Tories 
in that part of the country. He was famed as a 
breeder and racer of horses, and had a stock farm 
near Colonel Ludington s. Indeed, he and Luding- 
ton were neighbors and friends before the outbreak 
of the war, but in the animosities engendered by that 
conflict they were involved as bitter foes. Holmes 
had a commission from the British authorizing him to 
enlist men for their service, and for this purpose he 
had a recruiting station on Fishkill Plains in an out- 
of-the-way place a field covered with scrub oak. 
There he gathered Tories and drilled them for the 
British service. He often boasted privately that his 
friend Ludington would one day accompany him on 
a visit to General Howe at New York meaning, of 
course, as a prisoner. Colonel Ludington, however, 
completely turned the tables upon his old neighbor 
and would-be captor. Learning from his secret 
agents that Holmes was collecting a company of 
Tories on the Fishkill Plains, he quietly gathered his 


own regiment for what he warned them was to be an 
undertaking of much activity and danger. After 
several days of preparation, he led his men at night 
to the Tory rendezvous. Dividing them into com 
panies, he caused them completely to encircle the 
scrub oak field and close in upon it from all sides. So 
quietly and effectively was the work done that 
Holmes and every one of his followers were cap 
tured, without the loss of a life or the firing of a 
single shot. There were, however, several severe hand- 
to-hand struggles, in one of which Colonel Luding- 
ton himself had a brand new suit of clothes almost 
entirely torn from his back. Holmes was furious at 
being thus trapped, and the more so when he found 
that Ludington was his captor. He was compelled 
to give up as spoils of war his watch and purse, and a 
large sum of British money which had been given to 
him for the conduct of his recruiting operations. Col 
onel Ludington then marched the whole party off to 
Poughkeepsie and deposited them in jail. He ap 
pears to have had no personal grudge against 
Holmes, however, and on a subsequent occasion 
saved his life at much danger to himself. 

The ardent patriots of the border counties were not 
content with merely these acts of forcible suppres 
sion of traitorous conduct, but desired to strike still 
more strongly and effectively at the foes of their own 
neighborhood. An act of the Convention had already 
authorized the occupation and leasing at moderate 
rentals of all lands owned by those who had entered 



the British service. At first there was little disposi 
tion to enforce the measure, but as the Revolution 
proceeded, and the "pernicious activity" of the 
Tories became more marked, the people of Dutchess 
County moved for the execution of the law. The 
following letter was accordingly addressed to Gov 
ernor Clinton by the Board of Sequestration of that 

To his Excellency George Clinton, Esq. 

Governor of the State of New York, General 
of the Militia, and Admiral of the Navy of the 

The Memorial of Theodorus Van Wyck and 
Henry Livingston Jun. Commissioners of Se 
questration for the County of Dutchess. 

Sheweth, That, whereas, on the 13th day of 
May, 1777, The honorable the Convention of the 
Representatives of the State of New York came 
to the following resolution "Resolved that the 
Commissioners of sequestration be directed & im- 
powered to lease out the lands & Tenements of all 
such persons as already have gone, or hereafter 
shall go, unto & Join the Enemies of this State, 
under Moderate rent, from year to year, to per 
sons friendly to the cause of America & who will 
Covenant to keep the same in repair & to suffer 
no waste to be done thereon"- And again "Re 
solved, that in all such leases the Inhabitants of 
this State who have been driven from their Habi 
tations by the Enemy should be preferred by the 
Commissioners to others who have not that claim 
to the favor of the public." 

Agreeable to the above resolutions your Me- 



morialists have put numbers of well affected 
Refugees Inhabitants of this State into the pos 
session of lands and tenements deserted by the 
former disaffected proprietors. As yet your Me 
morialists have stipulated with but very few of 
the Refugees aforesaid, what rent they shall pay 
for the lands & tenements they Occupy. Your 
Memorialists wish to have pointed out to them, 
what proportion of the highest rent they could 
obtain from others, for lands and tenements 
above described, the said Refugees should pay. 

Your Memorialists would also beg leave to 
represent to your Excellency, that numbers of 
persons now with our Enemies own large tracts 
of land in this County; Many of the tenants on 
which are desirous of discharging their rents, and 
have in many instances applyed to your Me 
morialists for direction. By virtue of any 
Resolutions made by the Legislature your 
Memorialists do not think themselves authorized 
to receive the Same. 

If the Legislature see fit to direct to have the 
above rents collected your Memorialists wish the 
Estates may be particularized. 

Your Memorialists would also inform your 
Excellency that they have in their possession a 
quantity of plate late the property of Mess. John 
Livingston, Peter Stuyvesant and Stephen 
Crossfield, and be given direction in the disposi 
tion of it. 

And your Memorialists will &c. 


March 16th 1778. 


The governor s reply to this appeal was not alto 
gether satisfactory to the more ardent patriots, who 
were suffering much in their private estates from the 
ravages of British irregulars and their Tory allies, 
and accordingly a memorial was soon presented to 
the Convention asking for further legislation of a 
particularly stringent kind. Made by the freehold 
ers and citizens of Dutchess County, this memorial 
was doubtless signed by Colonel Ludington together 
with many others, and expressed his vigorous opin 
ions. It ran as follows : 

To the Honorable the Senate and Assembly of 
the State of New York, 

The respectful address and petition of the Free 
holders and Others, Inhabitants of the County of 
Dutchess, Friends to the freedom and Independ 
ence of the United States of America, 

Humbly Sheweth: 

That the nefarious and most cruel Designs of 
the King and parliament of Great Britain, to re 
duce our Country to Vasalage, have been and still 
continue to be executed with a degree of Malice 
and Rancour, altogether inconsistent with the 
character of a Nation professing Christianity, or 
even a regard to common Justice and humanity; 
that while your petitioners in defence of their 
Rights and freedom have opposed the devices in 
spired by Tyranny, and have suffered severely, 
many of them in their own proper persons, and 
effects, and all in those of their friends and fellow 
citizens; they have always had, as they hope, a 


well grounded confidence in the Wisdom and 
Justice of an honest, impartial Legislature, by 
whom they trust such an adequate adjustment of 
forfeited property will be effected as may duly 
punish the authors of the publick Calamities, re 
lieve the distressed and be the most conducive to 
the General good of the State. 

That as you are now entering upon the Busi 
ness of the second year of the Legislature of this 
State, we Doubt not but a Variety of important 
matters presents themselves to your considera 
tion, among which, in our opinion, one of the 
greatest is the confiscation and sale of the prop 
erty of the Traitorous Enemies of this State ; that 
our Debts contracted in prosecuting this neces 
sary War, are become enormous ; that the whole 
of this Burden will be as intolerable for us and 
our children to bear, as it will be cruel to exact it 
of us ; That the only expedient for our relief will 
be the appropriation of the property within this 
State, of those unnatural Enemies, (whether now 
within or out of it) by whose wicked practices the 
War, with all its horrors, Calamities and conse 
quent charges, was brought upon us and is con 
tinued to this present period in the American 
States by them devoted to destruction. To this 
end have they not exerted every faculty, cancelled 
every social and sacred Obligation, and to the ut 
most assisted the Enemies of their Country, irri 
tated them against it, and urged them to com- 
pleat its distruction? Have not many of them 
embodied with the British Troops, assisted in 
their councils, aided and abetted them in contriv 
ing and executing all their infernal measures? 

Lenity to such atrocious offenders, we conceive 


to be cruelty to the State in General, and to man 
kind, unwarrantable either by the Laws of God 
or Man. 

These are, therefore, with all due deference and 
respect, to desire and request you, as the rep 
resentative body of this State, forthwith to pro 
ceed upon, and before the close of the present 
Session, effectually form and accomplish a Law 
for the confiscation and sale of the Real and per 
sonal property of the Enemies of this State, in 
such way and manner as may be for the good of 
the people at Large, and we Doubt not, in the 
Completion of so important an Act, but you will 
readily forego every private Conveniency to 
yourselves and particular families. 

We have with surprise and concern under 
stood that several members of your honorable 
Houses are impatient to close the Session, on ac 
count of their Domestic concerns. We would 
humbly beg leave to remind such gentlemen that, 
however pressing their private affairs may be, the 
publick Demands ought to be first attended to, 
as in them the Interest of every Individual is de 
volved; and in particular this Act ought by no 
means to be postponed. The publick Debts, the 
alarming Depreciation of our paper money, are 
pressing, and will admit of no delay. The pres 
ent and not the future is in your power, and were 
it necessary to use arguments on this subject to 
patriots, it would be easy to show that the delay 
of this Act to another Session is big with uncer 
tainty of its passing at all, and therefore of the 
most dangerous consequences to this State. 
Especially as it will occasion universal uneasiness 
and in all probability produce Tumults and in- 


surrections, and tend to a Domestic Tyranny and 
confusion as much to be dreaded as the evils 
brought upon us by our connections with Great 
Britain, the Effects of which we thus wofully ex 
perience. Tho thro the smiles of Heaven upon 
our past endeavors, we are now arrived within 
view of our native inheritance, the promised 
Land of peace and freedom, to which we look 
with longing Eyes. But our unremited exertions 
are still necessary to bring us to the Haven of 
rest. Else all our past Labors may still prove in 
vain, all our fair prospects be darkened by Inter 
vening Clouds, that may drive us again upon a 
tempestuous sea of trouble till we are over 
whelmed and Lost. To prevent this we and all 
your Constituents look up with Anxious Expec 
tations to you, on whom is devolved the care of 
the State Vessel, and on whom we depend to 
pilot it into a port of safety; and we trust your 
vigilance and unwearied application to the im 
portant Duties of your Station will be continued 
till the great End is Obtained, for which as in 
Duty bound we shall ever pray, &c. 

Poughkeepsie, October 22nd, 1778. 

It was inevitable that his activity and zeal in pro 
moting and executing such measures should make 
Colonel Ludington an object of especial antipathy 
to the local Tories and also to the British authorities 
in New York. He was regarded by them as one of 
the chief obstacles to the raising of troops and the 
securing of supplies for the British Army in the 
border region. Accordingly the strongest efforts 



were made to get rid of him, either by death or cap 
ture. On more than one occasion he was shot at by 
hidden marksmen by the wayside and narrowly 
escaped being killed. The British authorities offered 
a reward of three hundred guineas for his person, 
and more than one of his disaffected neighbors 
sought to win that prize. Much of the time his house 
was guarded by a detachment of his regiment, but 
often for days and weeks when he was at home his 
only sentinels were his two older daughters, Sibyl 
and Rebecca. These children would sit for hours, 
armed with heavy muskets, at the upper windows, 
behind casks on the piazza, or in a neighbor 
ing cornfield, watching for the approach of sus 
picious or openly hostile characters and ready to give 
their father warning. One night they espied a num 
ber of moving figures, lurking behind trees and 
fences, and at once waked their father with the warn 
ing that Tories were surrounding the house. Colonel 
Ludington, having no aid at hand sufficient to offer 
defense, resorted to a ruse. He hurriedly aroused 
the inmates and distributed them through all the 
rooms, each with a musket and a lighted candle. The 
general illumination of the building, the signs of com 
motion, and the shadows of moving and armed fig 
ures on every window blind, persuaded the Tories 
that a company of soldiers was in the house. They 
therefore feared to make the attack which they had 
intended, but contented themselves with yelling and 
hooting in the adjoining woods until day began to 


break, when they retired down the road to the south 
ward, through the little settlement which then oc 
cupied the present site of the village of Carmel. 

The next day Colonel Ludington ascertained that 
his nocturnal visitors were Tories from Quaker Hill 
and Pawling, under the leadership of Dr. Prosser, 
who has already been mentioned in this narrative, 
and were about forty in number. Prosser was a 
neighbor of Colonel Ludington s, but was also his 
bitter enemy, and was one of the most virulent Tories 
in all that region. He was that night leading his 
company down to New York to join the British 
Army, and had planned to kill or capture Colonel 
Ludington and thus secure the reward of three hun 
dred guineas which General Howe had offered. 
After the war Prosser returned to Dutchess County 
to live, thinking his Toryism would be forgotten or 
condoned. But Colonel Ludington had not forgot 
ten nor forgiven his midnight attempt at murder or 
capture. One day the two men met on the highway 
at Patterson, both being on horseback. As soon as 
Prosser caught sight of the man whom he had tried to 
"remove," he turned and attempted to avoid him. 
But Colonel Ludington and his horse were too quick 
for him. Overtaking him the Colonel belabored him 
with a heavy rawhide whip and gave him a most 
thorough flogging, which of course Prosser could not 
venture to resent by legal means. 

On another occasion during the war two gentle 
men and their servants, strangers, stopped at Colonel 


Ludington s house and asked for entertainment for 
the night. They were received with some misgivings 
as to their loyalty. Some time after they had retired 
the watching members of the family perceived that 
the house was surrounded by armed men. Suspect 
ing that the strangers were in league with the be 
siegers, they went to their room, roused them, and at 
the muzzles of muskets demanded to know who they 
were and what was their business. The strangers 
managed to assure them that they were friends, and 
thereupon joined the family in lighting up the house 
and giving it the appearance of a well-garrisoned 
stronghold. As on the former occasion the ruse was 
effective and the attacking party withdrew. 

Colonel Ludington s activities and also his diffi 
culties in raising troops for various purposes are sug 
gested in some of his correspondence with Governor 
Clinton : 

I would inform your Excelency that I have 
proceeded to Raise the Companey aloted me to 
Raise as my Quota and Expect them to march on 
Munday next; in Regard of officering the Com 
paney I have Been obliged to Borow a point, and 
thought it my Duty to acquaint his Excelency in 
that manner; the man apointed as Capt. Did not 
Belong to the militia who is Capt. Elijah 
Tounsand the Barer But has Been the most of 
the time in Service Since the war Began and has 
Been Captain with me in the 3 months Service at 
the Plains and I Conceive him to Be more Suit 
able to Command a companey than one of the 

D59 3 


militia Captains; would therefore take it as a 
favour if you would give him his Comision ; the 1 
Lieut, is John Berrey, a militia officer; the 2 
Lieut, is Mr. William McTine a young man who 
formerly Lived at the White Plains and now has 
moved among us, has never Born a commision in 
the militia, But is Lookt upon to Be a proper 
person for it, as he is a man well acquainted with 
the part of the Country where he is going and 
very Capable of performing the office. Sir I 
hope it will Be agreable to his Excelency to grant 
Commisions to the above mentioned persons and 
in So doing you will mutch oblige your Humble 


Fredricksburgh May Id 1778. 

To his Excelency George Clinton Esqr. Gov 

To this Clinton promptly replied: 

Poughkeepsie 1st May 1778. 
Sir, I have rec d your Letter of equal Date. 
By the Law for raising the 700 Men for the De 
fence of the State the Officers are to be taken 
from the Militia. If, therefore, Capt. Townsend 
is to Command the Company you must have him 
appointed a Capt. in your Regt. & the other 
Gentleman a Lieut., otherwise it will be impos 
sible to give them the Command tho I wish to do 
it. I have convened the Council of Appointment 
to meet at this Place this Day to compleat the 
Military Appointments. I must, therefore, 



again call upon you for the proper Returns of 
your Regiment, agreable to former Orders to 
enable us to perfect the Appointments therein. 
I think it would be best for you to attend here in 
Person on Monday next at farthest. I am your 
Most Obed t Serv t 

Colo. Ludington. 

The British raid up the Hudson, with the burning 
of Kingston, already mentioned, provoked much ac 
tivity throughout the border region, and resulted in 
added suffering to the unfortunate inhabitants. Im 
mediately after the burning of Kingston the Com 
mittee of Safety, meeting at Marbletown, adopted 
the following: 

Whereas, The late destruction of the town of 
Kingston, and a vast number of dwelling houses, 
improvements, grain and fodder on either side of 
Hudson s River, by a cruel, inhuman and merci 
less enemy, has deprived many persons and fam 
ilies, the good subjects of the State, of shelter and 
subsistence for themselves and their cattle 
calamities which by the blessing of God on the 
fruits of this land those who have not shared in so 
uncommon a misfortune are enabled in a great 
measure to relieve ; 

Resolved, Therefore, that it be, and it is hereby 
most earnestly recommended to the several and 
respective general and district committees of the 
counties of Ulster, Dutchess, Orange and West- 
chester, to make, or cause to be made, a proper 
and proportionate distribution of the aforesaid 



distressed persons and families, and their cattle, 
to the end that they may all be provided for as the 
circumstances of the country will permit; and it 
is hereby most strenuously urged on all those who 
may not have shared with them in their afflictions 
to receive the aforesaid persons, families and cat 
tle, and furnish them with shelter and subsistence 
at a moderate rate. 

To this humane appeal the patriotic part of the 
population cordially responded, but of course the 
British sympathizers were reluctant to do so. Their 
reluctance and refusal brought upon them, however, 
the increased wrath of the patriots, and incited to in 
creased zeal the committees whose province it was to 
deal with the disaffected. Among these, Colonel 
Ludington was prominent, though he exercised his 
powers with a certain humane discretion and was not 
inclined to be cruelly vindictive even toward the most 
malignant Tories. A letter of his to the Commis 
sioners of Sequestration, now in the possession of 
Mr. William E. Dean, of Fishkill, runs as follows, 
its reference being to the "Red Mills," near Lake 


Mr. Cox has been with me this day and in 
formed me that the Mills are likely to be taken 
from him and to Be put into the Hands of Mrs. 
Cammels and 2 other persons, the two Mrs Cam 
els I am well acquainted with and would do Every 
thing in my power to serve them But when you 
come to consider upon this matter You may find 


they may Be Settled at preasent in such a manner 
that they may Remain where they are for a while 
and be Less Damidge to them than it will be to 
Mr. Cox to turn out at this season of the year and 
so sudden as he is Required to Do. it will Be 
easy for you to Judg what a bad plight it will 
naturally put him to. therefore should take it as a 
favour if you would Let Him Remain until he 
can have an oportunity of settling Himself in 
Some other place, this far can be said of Mr. Cox 
it is generally Believed that He Has done Justice 
to the publick while He has occupyed the mills 
and in the Commisary Department which he has 
been in since Last fall. But However gentlemen 
I would not Be understood that I am to dictate 
you in those affairs and am and remain your Real 

and Humble Servant 

Fredericksburgh January 29th, 1779 

Mr Henery Livingston 
& Theds Van Wick 

The Comitioners Sequestration 
Dutchess County. 

Another letter, also in the possession of Mr. Dean, 
runs as follows : 

Dear Sir 

I have just had an information of a score of 
Sheep in the hands of one Josiah Swift Rented to 
him By a person who Hath Been Sundry years 



with the Enemy and Likewise Sum Cattell in the 
Hands of Henry Charlick which Belonged to one 
Ellston which the Bearer can inform you of, and 
the Bearer is the person who moved Ellston s wife 
and family and John Millars and wishes that the 
Discovery he had maid of those Cattel might be 
an inducement to the Commisoners to give him 
Sum Satisfaction for moving the 2 families 
Down to the Lines 

am Sir your very humble Servant 

To Theodorus Van wayk Esqs 

P S I believe I am on track of a very Con 
siderable deal of property conseald Belonging to 
Kain and Morison 

This letter was addressed to "Theodorus Van wayk 
Esqs pr Mr. Daniel Haselton For want of wafer 
this is not seald" 

The sternness of the dealings of the State with 
British sympathizers was strikingly shown in the law 
which was made by the State Convention on October 
22, 1779, which ran in part: 

Whereas during the present war . . . divers 
persons holding or claiming property within this 
State have voluntarily been adherent to the King, 
his fleets and armies, enemies of this State . . . 
whereof the said persons have severally and 
justly forfeited all right to the protection of the 
State and the benefit of laws under which prop 
erty is held or claimed . . . Be it enacted that 



the said several persons hereinbefore particularly 
named shall be and are hereby declared forever 
banished from this State, and each and every one 
of them who shall at any time hereafter be found 
in any part of this State shall be and are hereby 
declared guilty of felony, and shall suffer death 
as in cases of felony, without benefit of clergy. 

A mahogany table belonging to Colonel Ludington, at which, 
according to family tradition, Washington 

and Rochambeau dined 
(Now in the possession of Charles Henry Ludington) 

Fredericksburgh and the neighborhood were fre 
quently traversed by officers and bodies of troops, 
especially in making the journey from Hartford and 
New Haven to Fishkill. Washington himself often 
made that journey, and was a familiar guest at Col- 


onel Ludington s house. On one occasion Washing 
ton and Rochambeau, on their way from Hartford 
to Fishkill, called there for dinner. 

In the journal of Captain William Beatty, of the 
Maryland Line, the following entry occurs under 
date of Sunday, September 20, 1778: 

"We marched about four miles past Fredericks- 
burgh, where we lay until the 22nd, on which day our 
division marched about 12 miles towards Fishkill. 
At this place we lay until the 28th, when we marched 
to Fishkills." It seems probable that on this march 
the troops, presumably under Baron De Kalb, passed 
by Colonel Ludington s house, and were halted there 
for the two days mentioned. If so, their stopping 
there and paying in scrip for the food supplied by 
the Ludingtons form the basis of the tradition in the 
Ludington family, that at one time Colonel Luding- 
ton received so much depreciated currency from the 
soldiers that he scarcely knew what to do with it, and 
finally stored it under the floor boards of his house 
for safe keeping. Mrs. Ludington collected it from 
the soldiers in her apron, and got her apron running 
over full. Long afterward Colonel Ludington 
burned a trunkful of the stuff, as worthless litter. 

The Ludington house, standing, as before men 
tioned, on the great highway from Hartford to the 
Hudson, was often resorted to by travelers as an inn, 
and while the British held New York City, the 
greater part of all travel between New England and 
the other colonies passed that way. William Ellery, 



of Massachusetts, a signer of the Declaration of In 
dependence, traveled that road and stopped at Col 
onel Ludington s in the fall of 1777, on his way from 
his home at Dighton, Massachusetts, to York, Penn 
sylvania, to attend the session of the First Conti 
nental Congress. He was accompanied by the Hon. 
Francis Dana and his servant, whom he calls, in his 
whimsical diary, respectively Don Quixote and 
Sancho Panza, while to himself he gives the title of 
Pill Garlick. Under date of "Road to Danbury, 
Nov. 5th," he records: 

We intended when we reached Litchfield to 
have gone to Peekskill, and there crossed the 
North River, but when we got to Danbury we 
were dissuaded from it by the Person at whose 
house we breakfasted, who told us that there were 
Tories and Horse stealers on that road. This ac 
count occasioned us to take the Fishkill road. 
Accordingly we set off, baited at the foot of 
Quaker Hill, about 7 miles from Danbury, and 
reached Colonel Ludington s 8 miles from the 
foregoing stage at night. Here mens meminisse 
horret! We were told by our landlady the Col. 
was gone to New Windsor, that there was a 
guard on the road between Fishkill and Peeks- 
kill, that one of the guard had been killed, about 
6 miles off, and that a man not long before had 
been shot at on the road to Fishkill not more than 
three miles from their house and that a guard had 
been placed there for some time past, and had 
been dismissed only three days. We were now in 
a doleful pickle, not a male in the house but Don 



Quixote and his man Sancho and poor Pill Gar- 
lick, and no lodging for the first and last but in a 
lower room without any shutters to the windows 
or locks to the doors. What was to be done? 
What could be done? In the first place we forti 
fied our Stomachs with Beefsteak and Grogg 
and then went to work to fortify ourselves against 
an attack. The Knight of the woeful counte 
nance asked whether there were any guns in the 
house. Two were produced, one of them in good 
order. Nails were fixed over the windows, the 
Guns placed in a corner of the room, a pistol un 
der each of our pillows, and the Hanger against 
the bedpost, thus accoutered and prepared at all 
points our heroes went to bed. Whether the val 
iant Knight slept a wink or not, Pill Garlick can 
not say, for he was so overcome with fatigue, and 
his animal spirits were so solaced with the beef 
and the grogg, that every trace of fear was utterly 
erased from his imagination and he slept soundly 
from evening till morning, save that at midnight, 
as he fancieth, he was waked by his companion, 
with this interesting Question, delivered with a 
tremulous voice, "What noise is that?" He lis 
tened and soon discovered that the noise was oc 
casioned by some rats gnawing the head of a 
bread cask. After satisfying the Knight about 
the noise, he took his second and finishing nap. 

Again, in Colonel Israel Angell s diary, cited by 
Mr. Patrick, we find : 

29th Nov, 1779. This morning after breakfast 
I got my horses Shodd, Crost the North River 
over to fishkill. Went on for Danbury, Col 



Greene and Mr. Griffen. Greene went for 
Springfield so we parted about six miles from 
fishkill, but Still could get nothing for our horses, 
till riding ten or twelve miles, there Dind and fed 
our horses, then went to Colo Luttentons Tavern 
among the Mountains 21 miles from fishkills 
there put up for the night, one of Col. Livings 
ton s Officers came to this Tavern in the Evening 
on his way home on a furlough. 

Nov. 30th, 1779. Left my lodgings this morn 
ing after breakfast went on for D anbury. 

It is probable, indeed, that for a time Washington 
himself made Colonel Ludington s house his head 
quarters. In the late summer and fall of 1778 he 
had his army in that region, and made his own head 
quarters at Fredericksburgh, as related by Irving 
and Lossing. He wrote, under date of Fredericks- 
burgh on September 12 and 23, describing the dis 
position of his army, "the second line, with Lord 
Sterling, in the vicinity of Fredericksburgh." He 
was there with the exception of a week from Sep 
tember 12 to the end of November. Part of the time 
his headquarters were at the house of John Kane 
also spelled Kain and Keane. This house stood on the 
site since occupied by the house of Mr. Charles H. 
Roberts, at Pawling, and was a large house, con 
nected by a stone -walled passageway with another 
large stone building, the ground floor of which was 
used as a store and the upper story for dwelling pur 
poses. The land was a part of Beverly Robinson s 
estate. Kane, of whom mention has already been 

169 3 


made in Colonel Ludington s correspondence, was a 
Tory and was particularly obnoxious to the patriots. 
Under the law of October, 1779, his estate was con 
fiscated, and he, a dignified and venerable magistrate, 
was tied to the tail of a cart and drummed out of 

We have already quoted correspondence between 
Governor Clinton and Colonel Ludington, showing 
the difficulties which were encountered in raising 
troops for various services. As time went on these 
difficulties increased rather than diminished, so that 
now and then the governor was impatient at the un 
avoidable delay. Thus he wrote on one occasion as 

Pokeepsie 9th June 1779. 

I wrote to you a few Days ago requesting you 
to expedite the raising of the Levies to be fur 
nished by your Regiment but as I have not since 
heard from you I conclude the Letter has mis 
carried. I have now therefore to repeat my Or 
ders that your Quota be raised with all Dispatch 
and marched down under the Command of an 
active subaltern to join the Detachment from 
Major Crane s and Colo. Drake s Regimts (sta 
tioned at Crompond, to cover the Country there 
from the Depredations of the Enemy) until my 
further Orders. 

I will send an Officer to relieve, as soon as pos 
sible, the subaltern you shall appoint for this ser 

As I think it more than probable that I shall 


w * yuA*- ^ "-" 7 7 
- ^ /x*^, ~- *- 

vi^ ^ -"=> 

i^t^. . 
. ^ -^^-- ""^ ^_ ^t 


4^ <^v*~*~^ 

/J. /^>- " 7 - " " r " 

( ,^.- 



At.U &- -^. 

C A. ;^ ox^J3^^ ^c^. 

A ^- ^ "^-*-^ 


ReducEd Fac-similE ni Letter, frorn G-overnar G-earge Clinton, 
to Col. Henry Ludington. 

(Original in possession of Charles H. Ludington. Nw York City ) 


be under a Necessity of employing the Levies 
from your Regiment, in the Quarter to which 
they are now directed, I expect it will be an In 
ducement to the Officers to exert themselves in 
raising them and that the Men may more easily be 
obtained. I have only to add that I expect also 
a speedy and effectual Compliance with these 
Orders and that you will make me immediate 
Report of what shall be done in consequence of 
I am 

Your most obed 

Colo. Ludington. 

Public Service, GEO. CLINTON. 

To Colo. Henry Ludington Fredericksburgh. 
By Express. 

Colonel Ludington was, however, more successful 
in securing recruits than some other militia com 
manders in that region. Colonel Roswell Hopkins, 
at Amenia, seems to have met with many troubles, 
which ultimately led to his resignation of his commis 
sion. In the summer of 1780 much trouble arose 
over trafficking in certificates of exemption, and this 
correspondence took place : 

Amenia, July 12th, 1780. 

Sir, In Obedience to Brigade Orders of the 
30th ult. I now return to your Excellency the num- 



ber of Classes in my regiment for raising the 
present Levies for three months; the number is 
Sixty-two; the men are to be Delivered the 14th 
Instant at Major Cook s & the 15th at Capt. 
Roger Sutherland s to such Officer as your Ex- 
cellencey shall appoint. I am, Sir, your most 
obedient Hum. Serv t, 

His Excellency Gov r. Clinton. 

May it please your Excellency, We, the Sub 
scribers, beg leave to inform your Excellency 
that Difficulties have arose in this Regiment re 
specting Exemption from Militia Drafts Certifi 
cates which have been transferred for a valuable 
Consideration by the procurer to another Person 
that is whether the Purchaser of such Certifi 
cate is by act of the Legislature, Pass d the 25th 
of March 1778, for Exempting persons from 
Drafts are as much exempted from Militia Duty 
as the first Procurers would be in case he had not 
transfer d it. There being several such Instances 
in the Regiments and different Opinions in the 
Matter which is likely to produce uneasiness, and 
we being Inf orm d that it has been the Practice in 
other Regiments to exempt the Purchasers of 
such Certificates. There is James Hildreth <k 
Lemuel Brush under this predicament the men 
that they purchas d of have done duty in this 
regiment ever since they transfer d their Certifi 
cates to the present Holders. As their appears 
to be no fraud or collusion respecting the said 
James Hildreth and Brush, we pray your Excel- 


lency s advice and Direction respecting such 
purchas d Certificates which will oblige your Ex 
cellency s Most Obedient Humble Servants 


Amenia, July 12 1780. 

His Excellency Gov r Clinton. 

thes may sartif y that I am knoing to the truth 
of what is in the above, as I then Commanded the 
Ridgment, & am knoing to theas 2 men mench ed 
dus now due duty in the Ridgment. 


Poukeepsie 13th July 1780. 
Sir, I am this Moment favoured with your two 
Letters of equal Date. His Excellency Genl. 
Washington in Consideration of the Busy 
Season of the year & other Reasons has pro 
longed the Day for the Levies to rendevous at 
Fishkill till 25th Instant. This I notified Brig r 
Genl. Swartwoudt of by after Orders which I 
concluded he had issued to his Brigade. I will 
send an Officer to receive & take Charge of your 
men in Season to march them to the Place of 
Rendevous. This Delay I flatter myself will be 
agreable as they may be employed in gathering 
in the Harvests & it will afford them Time fully 
to prepare & provide themselves for the Cam 
paign which is the more necessary as they are not 
to be relieved. 


I wish it was in my Power to relieve Mr. Brush & 
Hildridge as I believe they meant to act honestly 
& uprightly; but it is not as they have not pro 
ceeded agreeable to Law and none but such are 
exempted neither am I vested with any Dis 
cretionary Power of determining in such Cases. 
I have explained myself more fully to Mr. Brush 
& am, Sir, your &c. 

(G. C.) 
(to Colonel Hopkins) 

A little later Colonel Hopkins had a lively ex 
perience with a press-master from Connecticut, 
which he reported to the governor his letter being 
of interest for the picture which it gives of the times 
and customs in which Colonel Ludington was a par 
ticipant : 

Amenia Aug t 19th 1780. 
May it please your Excellency, I beg leave to 
trouble your Excellency with a Remonstrance 
Concerning a certain Press-master, one George 
Tremble, who is a transient person that lives in 
Connecticut, who came to me on the 8th Instant 
and told me he wanted my team to carry forrage 
to the Fishkills. I told him my Circumstances 
was such that I could not let them go, for it 
would Ruin me for my wheat, about 130 bushels, 
all I had was in the field and it would spoil. My 
oats, 200 or 300 busshels all lay in the Swarth, 
and would be lost, for I had no help but one Son, 
and could not hire any man ; my flax a fine Crop 
was all in the field and some hay in the meadow, 
and my grass lodged and rotting, but he said he 



cared not for that, but I should go myself with 
my team the next day. I told him if I could 
secure my grain I would send my son and team 
the next week, but he said I should go the next 
day. I told him I would not; he showed me a 
Coppy of a press warrent from your Excellency 
to Colo. Hay with a line from him on the back 
authorizing said Tremble to impress teams & 
drivers in this state. 

I told him that was no legal warrent to him; 
he rode off saying he would get a warrent for me, 
& then told all about he had got a warrent for 
me; but on the 14th he came again with a Ser 
geant & 8 men & entered my field, Siezed my son 
& confined him under guard, drove out my fatten 
oxen that I was fattening for the army, took my 
horses & forced my son to drive them with a lode 
of my own oats to the Fishkills, altho I consented 
if they must go they might carry my oats, he told 
me I was a disaffected Person, had done nothing 
to support the cause, held bad Princeples, was a 
dam d Lyer and a dam d Rascal. 

I have fined him for cursing ; sued him for tres 
pass & issued a warrant against him in order to 
bind him to his good behaviour & recorded a riot 
against him. 

I think its a pity that there is not a man in this 
Precinct County or state that can be trusted with 
a press warrant, but such an outlandish Irish, 
malicious, abusive fellow must be sent into this 
Precinct to press all the whiggs teams, & none in 
Charlotte, which is near 3 times as big, and half 
tories, for I cant learn of one being pressed there ; 
after all the malicious fellow wrote a letter to 
Colo. Hay sent by the Soldiers that my team 



Capt. Shepherd s & Mr. IngersolFs teams were 
disaffected teams, and requested they might be 
kept in Service a month ; he abused others besides 
me. I am, Sir, your most obedient Hum e Serv t 


P. S. One Stack of my wheat is spoiled being 
wet thro & grown & I shall loose about six tons 
of hay. R. H. 

His Excellency Governour Clinton. 

At the beginning of May, 1781, however, Colonel 
Hopkins gave up the struggle to maintain his quota 
of men in the field, and insisted upon resigning his 
commission : 

Amenia, May 1st 1781. 

Sir, I wrote to your Excellency about a fort 
night ago to acquaint you that the Classes of my 
Regiment were to Deliver their men yesterday, 
and requested an officer might be sent to recive 
them agreeable to general orders, but no man or 
orders came. I was greatly non-plushed & knew 
not what to do, but have mustered the men and 
ordered them to meet at Peleg Tabors near Mr. 
David Johnston, on Saturday this week at 10 
O clock, to march immediately off, when and 
where I hope your Excellency will give some one 
orders to take care of them. I fear they will not 
appear at that time as no one has the care of 
them. I fear they will desert, they have got their 

Sir, I must still insist on resigning my Mili 
tary commission as I am wore out with the 



trouble & expence of it. I think it unaccountable 
that the vacancies in my Regt. are not filled up, 
when I have made so many returns and requests, 
and have had no adjutant for near 2 years and 
orders to send to my Capts. very offen indeed. 
Sir, I desire if any officers are appointed this way 
to go with these Levies, I might be informed by 
the bearer who they be ; pray excuse the want of 
Paper for I have wrote up 4 quire in a short time 
lately in orders &c. all gratis, and know not where 
I can get more. I have collected some money 
from the delinquent classes for during the war. 
I am, Sir, your most Obed t Serv t 

His Excellency Gover r Clinton. 

Colonel Ludington also appears to have had many 
troubles and vexations at this time, though his "stay 
ing qualities" were superior to those of Colonel Hop 
kins. He wrote to the governor on the very day on 
which Colonel Hopkins resigned, as follows : 

Fredericks Burgh, May 1st 1781. 

Honoured Sir, I was yesterday a Coming to 
wait on your Excellency, but hearing of my little 
Son (who is at School at Danbury) lying very 
dangerous with the plurisy, was obliged to turn 
my Course that way, for which Reason obliges 
me to commit my Errand in writing. Your Ex 
cellency no dought has been inform d of our 
troubles of late in Regard of a large party of 
Robbers being for four weeks past near me in the 



mountains, which has occasioned me in some 
measure of being behind hand in turning out my 
men for the nine months Service, for the chief 
part of my Regiment has been out ever since the 
Robbers came among us, And, Sir, were you to 
be fully acquainted with the Difficulty I now 
labour under you would think is impossible for 
me to do it, as I have but one field officer, which is 
Major Robinson who lives so near the lines that 
he has enough to take care of himself, The Cir 
cumstances of my wife and family renders it in 
convenient for me to move immediately if I intend 
to save my life, or anything for my family s sup 
port. My Captains seeing the Distresses that is 
daily comeing upon themselves by Reason of 
haveing their Sergents sued and torn to pieces 
for what Necessity required them to do among 
the tories, while we was under the authority of 
Committees, and many of their best men are beat 
and robbed by persons who say they are Refugees 
from below. It is only for them to call a man a 
tory, be him ever so good a man, himself, wife 
and Children get beat in such a manner that he s 
obliged to turn out his Substance to save their 
lives. And at best the Regiment are verry poor 
when compared with other Regiments and are 
call d on to raise an eaquil number with the others, 
when I can affirm that ten farmers in Coll. 
BrinckerhofFs Regiment is able to purchase the 
whole of mine. In this uneaquil way, I have been 
obliged to turn out my men untill they are so 
much impoverished that they almost dispair. 

It seems the power of Earth and Hell was let 
loose against me and my Regiment, Even one 
of the most abandant Ruffins is indulged to hold 


me up to public view for Cowardice, for challeng 
ing him to fight a Duel. It is what I never 
thought on, neither did he think I did, but was let 
loose upon me by the Instigation of a set of Ruf- 
fins who Conspired together to take my life, and 
I knowing this Kees to be a transient person who 
had neither Connection, Credit, Money or 
friends, nor no place of Residence here, that it 
was out of my power to get Recompence from 
such a fellow as he, unless it was by giveing him 
a floging, and that he had put out of my power 
by Secreting himself. This being my Situation 
shall expect from your Excellency some Direc 
tions and advice by a line what will be best for me 
to doe. I something expect that General Swart- 
wout will wait on you this day, who will be able 
to state some of the Difficulties I have mentioned 
and whether it will not be best to anex my Regi 
ment to some other Regiment, or give me some 
field officers, who in time of turning out my men 
will be better able and more willing to assist me. 
Am, Sir, with due Regard your Excellency s 
Most Obed t and verry Hum e Serv t 

His Excelency George Clinton, Esqr. 

The governor regarded Colonel Ludington s re 
quest for more officers as reasonable, and promptly 
complied with it as follows : 

Sir, In Answer to yours of the 1st Instant I 
have to inform you that Lieuts. Johnson, Duel & 
Becker of your Regt. are appointed Officers in 



the Levies. These will have orders to receive & 
march your Quota to the Place of Rendevouz. 
The last I received from you I answered a Day 
or two after it came to Hand. My Letter was 
forwarded by Judge Paine. If you apply to the 
Secry. I imagine you will find that the appoint 
ments for your Regt. agreable to your Return 
have long since been perfected. Agreable to a 
Notification in the public News Papers the Coun 
cil mett at this Place on the 26th Instant. It 
would have been proper to have applied to them at 
that Time either to have had the vacancies in your 
Regt. filled up or to have made your Resignation 
as they only have the Power of doing the former 
or of accepting of the latter. I am &c. 

(G. C.) 

There may be some other gentlemen residing 
within your Regt. appointed officers for the 
Levies but of this I cant be certain as I am 
neither acquainted with its Limits or their Places 
of Residence. ( To Colonel Ludinton. ) 

A fortnight later new orders as to the distribution 
of levies were issued. Colonel Ludington was to be 
retained on duty in Westchester County, where he 
was much needed. But a sharp controversy arose 
over his alleged dilatoriness in raising his quota of 
men. These letters indicate the general trend of 
affairs at that time : 

Fishkeels 13th May 1781. 

D r Governor, I have just Returnd from three 
days fortague receving Colo. Vanderburgh Le 



I beg to no what part of Ulster County I shall 
derect that part of the Levis to purposed for that 
Quarter. I have proposed Capt. Livingston for 
that Command & beg he may be as ney my post as 
posable. I am your Excel cy most Obt. HbL 
Serv t ^ 


His Ex ly G. Clinton. 

N. B. I expose my poverty as to paper. 

May 13th 1781. 

S r, I have rec d your Letter by Capt. Liv 
ingston. The Detachm t intended for the fron 
tiers of Ulster are to proceed to Kingston. Colo. 
Graham s Regt. will furnish 50 so that no more 
are to be sent than with them will make up 100. 
I am anxious that those for Albany be dispatched 
as soon as possible, and it is my wish that a Part 
of those already on the ground be sent there as 
their appearance on the Frontier will give Con 
fidence to the Inhabitants. Field s & Ludington s 
Levies are intended for West Chester. Call in all 
the absent Officers immediately. Capts. Marshall 
& Whelp who belong to Willet s Regt. ought ta 
join & take Charge of the Detachm t intended for 

Albany (G. C.) 

(Major Van Bunschoten.) 

Poughkeepsie, May 13th 1781. 

Sir, I am informed by Letter from Colo. Lud- 
denton that he has not yet done any Thing to- 


wards raising the Levies from his Regt., that they 
are not even formed into Classes. I must, there 
fore, insist that you immediately take the meas 
ures directed by Law for drawing forth his Pro 
portion of men, together with the Deficiencies 
from all the other Regiments, a Return of which 
will be furnished you by Major Buntschoten on 
your application. The Service will by no means 
admit of Delay in this Business. I, therefore, 
expect your utmost exertions. I am &c. 

Brig r. Genl. Swartwout. 

Fishkill May 16th 1781. 

D r Sir, Agreable to your Exlancey s order, I 
wated on Colo. Luddenton to Receive the Levies 
from his Ridgment; he promisd to have them 
Ready the next week, but hearing he made no 
stur, I sent Lt. Dyckman to know when I might 
expect them, but he could not see him. I then 
went myself several times before I could see him ; 
he at length set a day to Receive them but 
neighther he nor his men mad ther appearance. I 
cald on him the nex day to know the Reason, but 
he was out of the way. I then concluded to report 
to him but by chance I met him on the Road ; he 
then promised to turn them out the twenty first 
of the month. Should I bee disapointed again, I 
shall wait on your exlancey with the perticulars 
and remain, with the greatest esteem, your ex- 
lancey s most obediant and most umble serv t 

His exlancey Governor Clinton. 


Colonel Ludington appears to have fulfilled his 
word and to have completed his quota in a satis 
factory manner, for there is no indication of any 
further complaints, and he is known to have con 
tinued in the service in the best of standing. His 
next correspondence with Governor Clinton had to 
do with the petitions of two deserters for clemency, 
and with the case of a woman who had become an 
outlaw. Colonel Ludington s letter and the petition, 
and the governor s reply, were as follows : 

Fredericksburgh, September 21d, 1781. 

Honored Sir: Being acquainted with the con 
tents of the petition sent you enclosed from Sem r 
Arnold and Cowin should esteam it as a favour 
Dun unto them and my Self if it should have its 
Desired efect. But be that as it may an answer 
from His Excelenz Consearning the Same will 
Mutch oblige your very Humble Servant 

To his Excellency George Clinton, Esqr. Gov 

Petition of Daniel Cowing and Seymour Arnold. 

To his Excellency George Clinton Esquire 
Governor of the State of New York : 

The Humble Petition of Daniel Cowing & 
Seymour Arnold. 

Humbly Sheweth That your Petitioners 
were by undue influence and evil Example un- 



happily led to desert their Station in the levies 
under Captain Williams on the Lines in the 
county of Westchester and though your Peti 
tioners upon the first reflection were sensible of 
the enormity of their Crime & inclined to return 
to their Duty, the dread of Corporal punishment 
prevented them till pardon could be procured 
from their officers; that many applications for 
that purpose have been made by persons em 
ployed by your Petitr. without Effect, that your 
Petitr. are heartily sorry for, and ashamed of 
their conduct, are fully determined and solemnly 
promise never to be guilty of the same Crime 
again under any Circumstances or treatment 
whatsoever, that your Petrs. hope some indul 
gence from their known attachment to the Pub 
lic cause as your petrs. have been in the service a 
great part of the time since the war Commenced 
and are now willing to make every amend in 
their power to the state by serving longer than 
the time limited or Otherways as your Excel 
lency or their officers may appoint, if by your 
Excellency s interposing in their favour your 
petrs. may be exempted from Corporal punish 
ment for this offence and at Liberty to return to 
their duty immediately this your Petitrs. im 
plore & hope from your Excellencys known 

And your Petrs. as in duty bound will ever Pray. 

Poughkeepsie, Septr, 21st 1781. 

Sir, I have rec d your letter of this Date with 
the Petition of the Deserters from Capt. Wil- 


Hams Company & the request of the Overseers 
of Poor relative to Mrs. Webb. 

The levies you may remember are by the Law 
put under the Command of the Commander in 
Chief & made subject to the Continental Articles 
of War. Genl. Heath has now the command of 
the Department & the application in behalf of the 
Petitioners should be to him. I cannot with 
Propriety interfere in the matter. But at any 
Rate they ought first to deliver themselves up & 
offer to return to their duty before they can ex 
pect a remission of the Punishment they have in 

With respect to Mrs. Webb the law makes it 
the duty of the Justices to warn her out of the 
State and she is to depart within twenty Days 
after Notice given her accordingly, or be out of 
the protection of the law, I am, 

(G. C.) 
Colo. Luddinton Fredericksburgh. 

Later in the war, much difficulty was again ex 
perienced in raising the desired levies : 

Fredricksburgh, aprill 14th, 1782. 

Honoured Sir, it will be neadles for me to 
State to your Excelency the Difficulties and 
Disadvantiges my Distresd Regment Labours 
under as in Regard of Raising their quota of men, 



for Sure I am that if it was Consistant his Ex- 
celency would give us every Asistance in his power. 
This one Request I shall atempt to make that we 
should Have an offisar or two apointed in the 
Regiment. If that should Be the case I think it 
would Have a tendancy to aleviate us in the pain 
of Raising them and prevent Desartions which 
hath Been verry preverlent 2 or 3 of the Last 
Campains. The men I Raised the Last year were 
as good men as I would Evr wish to Command, 
were put under Capt. Williams And Desarted 
all to a man. As it is so Burthensom to Rase the 
Money to pay their Bounties pray Let us in- 
deavour they shall Do the Service intended. It is 
my opinion that Lt. Charles Stewart that was 
with Colo. Wesenfell Last year will answer well 
for a capt. and his son for a 2 L dtant. 

am Sir His Excelencys 

verry Humble Servant 

Governor Clinton. 

A few days later he wrote again: 

Fredricksburgh Aprill 23, 1782. 

Honoured Sir, 

I must Beg Leave to trouble his Excelency 
this once more with my Request that Lt 
Charles Stuart shall Be indulged with the Same 



offise he held last year under Colo. Wiesenfelt. I 
should not so Strenuously insist upon it only that 
I am Sensable it will have a tendancy to induce 
the young men of his aquantance to inlist and 
that for a mutch les sum than if they were to go 
with Strangers. Sir for the Reasons above Re- 
sited I shall hope his Excelency will grant this 
my Request as well as others. I am Sir his Excel- 

most obedient and Humble Servant 


To George Clinton Esqr. 

P. S. Sir a line By way of answer if it should be 

Thus Colonel Ludington served through the war 
to its close, in his various capacities, and at the end 
was much concerned with securing settlements of the 
pay due to himself and his troops. His own rate of 
pay is indicated in several entries on the pay-rolls. 
Thus we find 

Abstract of Pay & Rations due Col. Henry 
Luddington s Regt. of Dutchess County Militia 
in the Service of the United States at different 
Periods between March 1779 & November 1780. 



Names. Rank Commencing Ending , 

Months days 

1779 1780 
Henry Luddington Colonel March Novemr. 1 

Dollars pr _ ? 118 ^ Amount of Amount of Pay 

Month Rations Price Rations. and Rations. 

75 210 10 d 8:15:-. 43:15:-. 

Apparently it was long after the war before all 
these matters were fully adjusted, as the date of the 
following affidavit shows : 

I Henry Ludinton do solemnly and sincerely 
swear that the List hereunto annexed contains 
an Account of all Certificates that remained in 
my Hands of those that were issued by the Treas 
urer and delivered to me for Paying my Regi 
ment ; That the remainder were to the best of my 
knowledge and belief delivered to the Persons 
who performed the services or their legal repre 
sentatives and that the names subscribed to the 
vouchers produced were bona fide subscribed by 


Sworn before me this 13th Day 
of Septr. 1792. 

Gerard Bancker Treasr. 

Voucher No. 306, of "The United States to the 
State of New York, Dr. for payments on Certifi 
cates for Military Services performed in the late 
War," presumably covering all payment made to 


i . 


c - 

*J t*5 

5= vS 
!i O 


"3 - S 







HX!* 4_> 

^y~ s 




>; s\ 7~ 


*$% l . b 




g^| 3J 



V . 

>- x 




C4l *C 

t~fi . O 




>-6, 4J 

m % 



f- * . s 



v<*" 1 ^o 




^v ^ 




5^., ^ 



Colonel Ludington for federal services, shows a total 
of <l330:19s:2d. 

Colonel Ludington appears to have been the pur 
chaser, for cash, of some of the lands apportioned to 
soldiers as bounties for their services. Thus in the 
"Manuscripts of the Colony and State of New York 
in the Revolutionary War," on file in the controller s 
office at Albany, Mr. Patrick has found this entry: 

We the subscribers members of a class in 
Capt. William Pierce s Company and Colo. John 
Field s Regiment who have Procured a man to 
wit Christian Null to serve in the Levies of this 
State Until the First Day of January Next who 
has been Delivered and a Certificut Taken for 
Such Delivery According to Law whereby the 
said Class Is Entitled to two hundred acres of 
Unappropriated Land we do therefore in Con 
sideration of the sum of five Pounds to us in 
hand paid By Henry Ludenton Esqr the Receipt 
Whereof we do acknowledge and Do grant and 
transfer unto the said Henry Ludenton Esqr. his 
heirs and assigns the Whole Right of the said 
two hundred acres of Land which said Class is 
Entitled To In persuance of a Law of this State 
Entitled an act for Raising Troops to Complete 
the Line of this State In the service of the United 
States And the two Regiments to Be Raised on 
Bounties of Unappropriated Lands and for the 
Further Defence of the frontiers of this State 
Passed the 25th of March 1782 To have and to 
hold the sd two hundred Acres of Land Unto the 
sd Henry Ludinton His heirs and assigns to his 



and their proper use and Benefit and behoof for 
ever as witness our hands and seals this the 3d of 
March 1783. 

Henry Ludinton 

Assignee and Assignor 


Seald and Delivered 
in presence of 

Jathro Sherman 
James Ferriss 

This document is endorsed as follows: 

Be it remembered that I Henry Ludinton da 
Assign over this within Conveyance unto Ben 
jamin Conklin and to his Heirs and Assigns to- 
Reserve and in joy the Land therein mentioned. 

Dated November 1st 1783 
in presence of Eleazar weed. 

With such transactions the military service of Col 
onel Ludington was concluded, and the remainder 
of his busy life was reserved for civil duties and hist 
private affairs. 

D90 ] 



WITH the return of peace in the triumph of the 
cause for which he had battled, Colonel Lud- 
ington by no means lapsed into inactivity or obscur 
ity, but continued to serve the State in various ways 
with the same earnestness which he had shown in war. 
For some time he was again a deputy sheriff of 
Dutchess County, and in the performance of his duties 
on one occasion was severely stabbed by a desperado 
named Brown, whom he was arresting. For many 
years he was a justice of the peace, his long service 
being ample evidence of the confidence which his fel 
low citizens reposed in his probity and of the esteem 
in which they held his intelligence. He had not a 
legal education. Indeed, as has already been ob 
served and as the composition of his letters clearly 
shows, his schooling in even the ordinary branches 
was slight. His rulings as justice of the peace were 
therefore based more upon common sense and prac 
tical, elementary justice than upon technical famil 
iarity with statute law or with the prescribed forms of 
judicial procedure. His shrewd sense and his just 
disposition, however, guided him so well that his ad 
ministration of the office was satisfactory to those 



who had occasion to use his court, and it was a rare 
thing for an appeal to be taken against any of his 
decisions, and still more rare for a higher court to re 
verse his judgment. After many years of satisfac 
tory service, one of his friends persuaded him that he 
should pay more attention to the technical conven 
tionalities of judicial procedure, and to that end pro 
vided him with a compendium of legal practice. This 
treatise, admirably comprehensive yet concise, cover 
ing a number of foolscap pages of manuscript, is 
among Colonel Ludington s papers now in the pos 
session of his grandson, Charles H. Ludington. Col 
onel Ludington accepted the advice with some mis 
givings, but studied the compendium, and when the 
next case came before him he conducted court in a 
more technically correct way than before. On this 
occasion an appeal was made by the defeated party 
to a higher court, and that court reversed Colonel 
Ludington s judgment and ordered a new trial. 
That was something which had never before hap 
pened, and was naturally a cause of chagrin to him. 
He indignantly declared that it was all because of 
the new-fangled methods of procedure which his 
friend had persuaded him to adopt, and he thereafter 
persisted in conducting his court in the old-fashioned 

Among the records of the Dutchess County jus 
tices courts, or courts of special sessions, are many 
entries of cases tried before him. In October, 1803, 
Henry Ludington, Cyrus Benjamin and Stephen 


Hayt occupied the bench when "Ruamy Shaw was 
brought before the court charged with feloniously 
stealing, taking and carrying away from the house of 
Isaac Russell a pair of shoes and a Tea Kettle 
Holder, whereupon the said Court after hearing wit 
nesses for and against the prisoner are of the opinion 
that the said Ruamy Shaw is guilty, . . that she 
therefore pay a fine of five dollars and stand commit 
ted until judgement be complied with." The fine 
was promptly paid, in the form of a due bill by Wil 
liam Shaw. In July, 1806, before the same justices, 
"Else Lake, Spinster, was convicted . . for feloni 
ously stealing taking & carrying away one Plad 
Chinz gown out of the dwelling house of Frances 
Mead . . . and that the said court lay a fine of $5, 
and that she stand committed until the same is paid. 
She refusing to pay the same, Metimas (mittimus) 
wrought and delivered to John Griffen const.." That 
plaid chintz gown was a source of much trouble, for 
on that same day before the same court, "Phebe 
Davis, wife of Solomon Davis, was . . . convicted 
for feloniously stealing one Plad Chinz gown to the 
value of $3.50 cents, the property of Frances Mead, 
and that the said Court lay a fine on the said Phebe 
of $6 and that she stand committed until the same is 
paid. She refusing to pay the same, Metimas 
wrought and delivered to John Griffen const." 

It will be of some quaint, antiquarian interest to 
recall the phraseology of the commissions which were 
in those days issued to justices of the peace. One 



of those issued to Henry Ludington, now in the 
MS. collection of Mr. Patrick, runs as follows, 
being practically identical, mutatis mutandis, with 
others issued to him by later governors. 

THE PEOPLE of the State of New York, 
by the Grace of GOD, Free and Independent. 

To David Brooks, . . . Henry Ludington, 
. . . and Ahab Arnold, in our County of Dutch- 
ess, Esquires, Greeting: 

Know Ye, that We have appointed and as 
signed; and by these Presents, do appoint and 
assign, you and every of you, jointly and sever 
ally, Justices to keep Our Peace, in our County 
of Dutchess, and to keep, and cause to be kept, all 
Laws and Ordinances, made or to be made, for 
the good of the Peace, and for the Conservation 
of the same, and for the quiet Rule and Govern 
ment of the Citizens and Inhabitants of our said 
State, in all and every the Articles thereof, in our 
said County, as well within Liberties, as without 
according to the Force, Form and Effect of the 
same Laws and Ordinances; and to chastise and 
punish all Persons offending against the Form of 
those Laws and Ordinances, or any of them, in 
the County aforesaid, in such Manner, as, accord 
ing to the Form of those Laws and Ordinances, 
shall be fit to be done ; and to cause to come before 
you, or any or either of you, all those Persons 
who shall break the Peace, or have used, or shall 
use Threats, to any one or more of the Citizens or 
Inhabitants of our said State, concerning their 
Bodies, or the firing of their Houses, or Barns, to 



find sufficient Security for the Peace, or their 
good Behaviour towards the People and Inhabi 
tants of our said State ; and if they refuse to find 
such Security, then them in Prison, until they shall 
find such Security, to cause to be safely kept : And 
further, We have also appointed and assigned 
you the said Justices, or any three or more of you, 
to enquire, by the Oath of good and lawful Men, 
of our County aforesaid, by whom the Truth 
may be the better known, of all, and all manner 
of Larcenies, Thefts, Trespasses, Forestallings, 
Regratings, Engrossings and Extortions whatso 
ever, and of all and singular other Crimes and 
Offences, of which Justices of the Peace may or 
ought lawfully to enquire, by whomsoever, and 
after what Manner soever, in the County afore 
said, done or perpetrated, or which shall happen 
to be there done or attempted: And also, of all 
those who in the said County have gone or rode, 
or hereafter shall presume to go or ride, in Com 
panies with armed Force, against the Peace, to 
the Disturbance of the Citizens and Inhabitants 
of our said State : And also, of all those who have 
there lain in Wait, or hereafter shall presume to 
lie in Wait, to maim, or cut and kill, any Citizen 
or Inhabitant of our said State: And also, of all 
Victuallers and Innholders, and all and singular 
other Persons, who have offended or attempted 
to offend, or hereafter shall presume or attempt 
to offend in the said County, in the Abuse of 
Weights or Measures, or in the Sale of Victuals, 
against the Form of the Laws and Ordinances of 
our said State, or any of them, made for the com 
mon Good of our said State, and the Citizens and 
Inhabitants thereof: And also of all Sheriffs, 



Bailiffs, Constables, Gaolers and other Officers 
whatsoever, who, in the Execution of their Offices 
about the Premises, or any of them, have unduly 
demeaned themselves, or hereafter shall presume 
to behave themselves unduly, or have been, 
or hereafter shall happen to be careless, re 
miss or negligent, in the County aforesaid; 
and of all and singular Articles and Circum 
stances, and all other Things whatsoever, that 
concern the Premises or any of them, by whom 
soever, and after what Manner soever in the said 
County, done or perpetrated, or which shall here 
after happen to be done or attempted, in what 
Manner soever, and to inspect all Indictments 
whatsoever, so before you or any of you taken, or 
to be taken, or before others late Justices of the 
Peace in the said County, made or taken and not 
determined ; and to make and continue Processes 
thereupon, against all and singular the Persons 
so indicted, or who, before you, shall happen to 
be indicted, until they be taken, surrender them 
selves, or be out-lawed; and to hear and deter 
mine all and singular the Larcenies, Thefts, 
Trespasses, Forestallings, Regratings, Engross- 
ings, Extortions, unlawful Assemblies, Indict 
ments aforesaid, and all and singular other the 
Premises, according to the Laws, Ordinances and 
Statutes, of our said State; as in the like Case it 
has been accustomed or ought to be done ; and the 
same Offenders and every of them, for their Of 
fences, by Fines, Ransoms, Amerciaments, For 
feitures and other Means, according to the Laws 
and Customs of our said State, and the Form of 
the Ordinances and Statutes aforesaid, it has been 
accustomed or ought to be done, to chastise and 



punish. You, therefore, and every of you are 
diligently to attend to the keeping of the Peace, 
Laws and Ordinances, and all and singular other 
the Premises, and at certain Days and Places, 
which you, or any three of you shall, in that be 
half, appoint, or by Law shall be appointed, you 
enquire into the Premises, and hear and deter 
mine all and singular the Premises, and perform 
and fulfil the same in form aforesaid; doing 
therein what to Justice appertaineth, according to 
the Laws and Ordinances aforesaid: Saving to 
Us our Amerciaments and other Things to Us 
thereof belonging : And the Sheriff of our Coun 
ty of Dutchess aforesaid, at certain Days and 
Places, which you the said Justices of the Peace 
of the said County, or any three or more of you 
shall make known to him, shall cause to come be 
fore you, the said Justices of the Peace of the said 
County, so many such good and lawful Men of 
his Bailiwick or County, as well within Liberties 
as without, by whom the Truth of the Matter in 
the Premises shall be the better known and en 
quired into : For all and singular which this shall 
be your Commission, for and during our good 
Pleasure, to be signified by our Council of Ap 
pointment. In Testimony whereof, We have 
caused these our Letters to be made Patent, and 
the Great Seal of our said State to be hereunto 
affixed: Witness, our trusty and well-beloved 
George Clinton, Esquire, Governor of our said 
State, General and Commander in Chief of all 
the Militia, and Admiral of the Navy of the 
same ; by and with the Advice and Consent of our 
said Council of Appointment, at our City of Al 
bany, the fifteenth day of August, in the Year of 


Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and one, 
and in the twenty-sixth year of our Independ- 

ence> GEO. CLINTON. 

Colonel Ludington also served with some distinc 
tion as a member of Assembly in the State Legis 
lature, for Dutchess County, some of such service 
being during the Revolutionary War. He thus 
served in the Third Session, which met at Kingston 
from August 18, 1777, to October 25, 1779, at Al 
bany from January 27 to March 14, 1780, and at 
Kingston again from April 22 to July 2, 1780 ; in the 
Fourth Session, which met at Poughkeepsie from 
September 7 to October 10, 1780, at Albany from 
January 17 to March 31, 1781, and at Poughkeepsie 
from June 15 to July 1, 1781 ; in the Ninth Session, 
which met in New York City from January 12 to 
May 5, 1786; and in the Tenth Session, which met in 
New York City from January 12 to April 21, 1787. 
He appears to have been a prominent arid influential 
member. At the meeting of January, 1786, he was 
made a member of the Ways and Means Committee, 
and of a special committee to prepare a bill for the 
regulation of the militia and the establishment of 
magazines. The records of that meeting show that 
Colonel Ludington was in constant attendance and 
was an active participant in the business of the 
House. He is recorded as voting at almost every di 
vision, and generally appears to have been a member 
of the majority. On March 1 it was represented to 



the Legislature that a number of prisoners confined 
in the jail of New York for debt were reduced to 
great extremity for want of wood and firewood, and 
were in danger of perishing for want of such neces 
saries ; wherefore a committee of three, Colonel Lud- 
ington being one, was appointed to inquire into the 
matter one of the first steps toward the abolition of 
imprisonment for debt. On March 6, 1787, the Leg 
islature proceeded to the nomination and appoint 
ment of "delegates to meet with delegates as may be 
appointed from other States, for the sole purpose of 
revising the Articles of Confederation" to wit, the 
Constitutional Convention of the United States. 
Colonel Ludington, who was a staunch Federalist, 
voted for the appointment of Alexander Hamilton, 
Robert Yates, and John Lansing, Jr. 

Soon after there arose a remarkable illustration of 
the dilatory disposition of governments of that day 
in dealing with some matters of real importance in 
which honor and good faith were involved. Away 
back in April, 1784, Colonel Ludington had sub 
mitted to the Legislature a petition relative to cer 
tain certificates for depreciation of soldiers pay, 
which he had lost or which had been stolen from him. 
Mr. Pell, of the committee to which the petition was 
referred, had reported that the facts were as stated 
in the petition, and that the petition for relief ought 
to be granted. Leave was granted for the introduc 
tion of a bill to that effect, and the bill was introduced 
and passed by the Assembly. Either it was not con- 



curred in by the Senate, however, or for some reason 
it was not put into effect. For now, on April 14, 
1787, we find Colonel Ludington again presenting 
to the Assembly, of which he was a member, a peti 
tion setting forth that certain depreciation certifi 
cates, amounting in all to 407 pounds 4 shillings, had 
been stolen from him, and that after passing through 
divers hands were paid to the Commissioners of For 
feitures for the purchase of a forfeited estate, and 
were then in the treasury of the State, wherefore he 
prayed for a law directing the treasurer to return 
them to him. Mr. Hamilton, from the committee to 
which the petition was referred, reported that the 
facts were found to be as stated, that the petitioner s 
case would be very unfortunate if he were to be finally 
deprived of the benefit of the certificates which had 
been stolen from him, and that it would be a proper 
act of generosity in the State to direct the treasurer 
to return them to him. The committee recommended 
that a clause to that effect be inserted in some bill 
then before the House. The House, however, voted 
not to concur in the report of the committee, and it 
does not appear that any further step toward doing 
him justice was taken at that time. Finally, how 
ever, on March 12, 1792, the Legislature adopted the 
following act : 

Whereas certain certificates issued by the au 
ditors appointed to liquidate and to settle the ac 
counts of the troops of this State in the service of 
the United States have been received b the Com- 


missioners of Forfeitures, and are now in the 
treasury of this State, which it appears to this 
Legislature were lost by Henry Ludenton, and 
which certificates at the time they were lost were 
not transferable, otherwise than by assignment; 
And whereas the said Henry Ludenton has 
prayed relief in the premises; Therefore, Be it 
enacted by the people of the State of New York, 
represented in Senate and Assembly, That when 
ever the United States shall direct that the resi 
due of the twelve hundred thousand dollars may 
be subscribed, which by the act of the United 
States entitled "An act for making provision 
for the debt of the United States," passed the 4th 
day of January, 1790, had not been subscribed 
before the last day of September last, then the 
Treasurer of this State is hereby authorized and 
directed to deliver unto Henry Ludenton the 
aforesaid certificates . . being the certificates 
lost by the said Henry Ludenton. 

Thus nearly eight years after the original appeal 
for relief, which was acknowledged to be valid and 
worthy, the Legislature voted to grant such relief at 
some indefinite time in the future, conditioned upon 
the fulfilment of obligations by the federal govern 
ment, which had already shown itself dilatory in the 
matter ! 

One of the most important divisions in which Col 
onel Ludington voted in the minority was that con 
cerning the independence of the State of Vermont, 
a matter over which there had been danger of a civil 
war. Said the "County Journal and Poughkeepsie 


Advertiser" for April 4, 1787: "Last Wednesday 
morning the important question for declaring the In 
dependence of Vermont was debated in the House of 
the Assembly. It was carried in the affirmative, as 
follows:" The poll of the House as given shows 32 
votes in the affirmative, and 21 in the negative, Col 
onel Ludington s name being among the latter, al 
though his friends Hamilton and Lansing voted in 
the affirmative. 

In the "New York Packet and American Adver 
tiser" of February 27, 1783, appeared this notice: 

"Notice is hereby given to the Debtors and 
Creditors of Stephen Ludinton, deceased, who 
was by a jury of inquest said to have been mur 
dered by John Akins, to meet me at the House of 
Alexander Mills in Fredericksburgh on Monday 
the 10th day of March next, at 10 o clock in the 
morning, in order to discharge the debts due the 
said estate, and receive payment as far as the 
estate will go as it is supposed he died insolvent. 


An act of the Legislature on March 9, 1810, made 
Colonel Ludington one of the incorporators of "a 
body corporate and politic" for the purpose of "mak 
ing a good and sufficient turnpike road to begin at 
the Highland turnpike road near the house of Joseph 
C. Voight in the town of Cortlandt and County of 
Westchester, and from thence to or near the house of 
James Mandeville and to or near the house of Sam- 


uel Owens, in the town and county aforesaid; from 
thence to or near the house of Jonathan Ferris, and 
to or near the house of Edward Bugby and Solomon 
Avery in Philipstown in the county of Dutchess; 
from thence running up Peekskill Hollow, to or near 
the house of Rowland Bailey, and to or near the 
house of Henry Ludington in the town of Fred 
erick ; from thence running to the great road west of 
Quaker Hill, to or near the house of Thomas How 

It should be added, to complete the record, that 
Colonel Ludington was in 1771 an overseer of the 
poor for South Precinct; in 1772 he was assessor of 
Fredericksburgh ; and in 1776, 1777, and 1778 he 
was supervisor of the town of Fredericksburgh. 

Colonel Ludington was commonly known by his 
military title to the end of his life. As a matter of 
fact, however, he ceased to exercise the functions of 
a colonel on September 27, 1786. An act of the Leg 
islature of New York of April 4, 1782, provided that 
"in case of the death, resignation or other inability to 
serve, of any Colonel now commanding a regiment 
(of militia) , no Colonel shall thereafter be appointed 
thereto; that such regiment and all others not now 
commanded by a Colonel shall henceforth be com 
manded by a Lieutenant- Colonel. This act was doubt 
less largely the outcome of the deliberations of the 
committee on reorganization of the militia of which 
Colonel Ludington was a member. At the date named 
in 1786, accordingly, he retired from the command 



of the regiment with which he had so long been iden 
tified, and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Drake. In this regiment Archibald Ludington and 
Henry Ludington, Jr., sons of Colonel Ludington,. 
were, respectively, paymaster and ensign. Henry 
Ludington, Jr., became lieutenant in the regiment 
commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Elias Van Ben- 
schoten, and on June 7, 1793, when John Drake 
moved away from Dutchess County and was suc 
ceeded in command of Ludington s old regiment by 
Lieutenant- Colonel Elijah Townsend, Henry Lud 
ington, Jr., became a captain and Archibald Luding 
ton paymaster in it. Henry Ludington, Jr., filled 
that place until March 16, 1797, when, owing to his 
removal from Dutchess County, he resigned and was 
succeeded by Samuel Smith. Archibald Ludington 
was succeeded by Stephen Waring on March 23 
1803. The commission of Henry Ludington, Jr., as 
lieutenant, is preserved in the possession of Charles 
H. Ludington, and reads as follows: 

THE PEOPLE of the State of NEW-YORK, 
By the Grace of GOD, free and independent; 

To Henry Ludinton, Junior, Gentleman, Greet 

We, reposing especial Trust and Confidence,, 
as well in your Patriotism, Conduct and Loyalty, 
as is your Valour and Readiness to do us good 
and faithful Service ; HAVE appointed and con 
stituted, and by these Presents, DO appoint and 
constitute you, the said Henry Ludinton, Junior,. 


Lieutenant of a Company in the Regiment of 
Militia in the County of Dutchess, whereof John 
Drake, Esquire, is Lieutenant-Colonel Com 

You are therefore, to take the said Company 
into your Charge and Care, as Lieutenant there 
of, and duly to exercise the Officers and Soldiers 
of that Company in Arms, who are hereby com 
manded to obey you as you shall from Time to 
Time receive from our General and Commander 
in Chief of the Militia of our said State, or any 
other your superior Officer, according to the 
Rules and Discipline of War, in Persuance of the 
Trust reposed in you ; and for so doing, this shall 
be Your Commission, for and during our good 
Pleasure, to be signified by our Council of Ap 
pointment. IN TESTIMONY whereof, We 
have caused Our Seal for Military Commissions 
to be hereunto affixed. WITNESS our Trusty 
and Well-beloved GEORGE CLINTON, Es 
quire, our Governor of our State of New- York, 
General and Commander in Chief of all the Mili 
tia, and Admiral of the Navy of the same, by and 
with the Advice and Consent of our said Council 
of Appointment, at our City of New- York, the 
twenty-seventh Day of March, in the Year of our 
LORD, One Thousand Seven Hundred and 
Eighty-seven, and in the eleventh Year of our 

Passed the Secretary s Office, 7th April, 1787. 
Robt. Harpur, D., Secretary. 

(Governor s signature in margin, under seal.) 



Colonel Ludington, as has already been stated, at 
first occupied his estate at Fredericksburgh under a 
lease, and did not actually buy the land until July 
15, 1812, when Samuel Gouverneur and wife made 
to him a deed for 229 acres. Long before the latter 
date, however, he had acquired other lands in Dutch- 
ess County, at least as early as 1781, when he was 
the owner of a large tract in the eastern part of the 
county several miles from his home. It was one of 
the perilous duties of his daughters Sibyl and Re 
becca frequently to ride thither on horseback, through 
the Great Swamp, to see that all was well on the 
property. After the war he disposed of that land, as 
the following notice, in the "County Journal and 
Dutchess and Ulster Farmer s Register," of March 
24, 1789, shows: 

To Be Sold By The Subscriber: 

A Farm of about 104 acres of land in Fredericks- 
town in the County of Dutchess lying on the east 
side of the Great Swamp near the place where 
David Akins formerly lived. There are about 30 
tons of the best kind of English hay cut yearly on 
such place, and considerable more meadow hay 
may be made, a sufficient quantity of plough and 
timber land, a good bearing orchard of the best 
of fruit, a large convenient new dwelling house 
and a stream of water running by the door. The 
place is well situated for a merchant or tavern 
keeper. Whoever should incline to purchase said 
place may have possession by the first of May 
next; the payments made as easy as possible and 


an indisputable title given for the same. For 
further particulars inquire of the subscriber or 
Mr. Edmund Ogden who keeps a public house on 
the Premises. 

March 9th, 1789. 

The result of this advertisement was the sale of the 
farm in question to a man from the former home of 
the Ludingtons in Connecticut. This appears from 
a document in the possession of Mr. Patrick, the 
original of an agreement made on November 5, 1790, 
between Colonel Ludington and James Linsley, of 
Branford, Connecticut, by which the former cove 
nanted and agreed with the latter "to sell a certain 
farm situate, lying and being in Fredericksburgh 
butted and bounded as follows adjoining Croton 
River on the west side and on the south by Abijah 
Starr & Ebenezer Palmer and on the north by P. 
Starr & Samuel Huggins, Containing about one 
hundred and five acres." The price to be paid at 
various times and in various sums was "414 pounds, 
New York currency." "And furthermore the said 
Ludinton doth further agree with the said Linsley 
to Enter on the Farm of him the said Ludinton 
where he now Dwells to Cut and Carry away a suffi 
ciency of timber for the framing of a Barn of the fol 
lowing Dimentions forty feet in Length and thirty 
feet in Breadth and the said Linsley hath further 
Liberty to enter upon the home farm of the said Lud- 



inton and Cutt sufficient quantity of sawmill logs for 
to cover said Barn and after the said Linsley has 
drawn said logs to the saw mill of the sd Ludinton 
he the said Ludinton will saw sd Logs without delay 
free from all cost and charges of said Linsley." 

Colonel Ludington was much interested in the 
Presbyterian church at Frederickstown, now Patter 
son, and was one of its trustees. On May 22, 1793, 
he and his fellow trustees purchased for the church 
from Stiles Peet and his wife Lydia a plot of about 
a quarter of an acre of land for a burying ground 
for the church, the price being at the rate of forty 
shillings an acre. He also personally gave most of 
the lumber required for building the first academy at 
Patterson, an edifice which was in later years de 
stroyed by fire. 

In person Colonel Ludington was of more than 
ordinary stature, and of robust frame and dignified 
and commanding presence. He was of an eminently 
social disposition, and in the later years of his life he 
and John Jay and Colonel Crane were accustomed 
often to meet at their neighbor Townsend s, for social 
evenings over their pipes and mugs, to exchange 
memories of the stirring days of the Revolution. 
Throughout his entire life he commanded in a high 
degree the respect and confidence of all who knew 
him, and when he died at the goodly age of 78 he was 
universally mourned. He died of consumption, after 
a prolonged illness, on January 24, 1817. His re 
mains were buried in the churchyard of the Pres- 

Colonel Luding ton s tombstone at Patterson (formerly part of 
Fredericksburg-h), X. Y. 


byterian church at Patterson, of which he had been a 
trustee, and his grave was marked with a simple 
stone bearing only this inscription : 


In Memory of 


Jany. 24, 1817. 

Aged 78 years. 

So simple was the epitaph of one of whom Blake, 
the historian of Putnam County, truly says: "Col. 
Ludington was one of the most active, energetic and 
unflinching patriots found in this part of the country 
during the Revolution, and much do we regret our 
inability to do justice to the character and sterling 
virtues of this Revolutionary patriot. The Govern 
ment records, however, show him to have been one of 
the bold defenders of our country s rights." 

Colonel Ludington s wife, Abigail, survived him 
eight years, and then on August 3, 1825. was laid 
beside him, at the age of more than 80 years. 

The will of Colonel Ludington, now on file in the 
surrogate s office of Putnam County, reads as fol 

In the Name of God, Amen! 

I, Henry Ludenton of the Town of Fredericks 
County of Putnam and State of New York, 
being feeble in body but of perfect mind and 



memory, thanks be given unto God, calling into 
mind the mortality of my body and knowing that 
it is appointed for all men once to die, do make 
and ordain this my last will and testiment, that is 
to say principly and first of all I give and recom 
mend my Soul unto the hands of Almighty God 
That gave it, and my body I recommend to the 
earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at 
the discretion of my executors, nothing doubting 
that I shall receive the same again at the general 
Resurrection by the mighty power of God. And 
as touching such worldly property wherewith it 
has pleased God to bless me with in this life, I do 
give, demise and dispose of in the following man 
ner. And farm first of all, I do order my ex 
ecutors to sell and dispose of so much land off the 
north end of my farm with the grist mill theron 
that will be sufficient to pay the debt that is owing 
from me to Samuel Go vernier s the landlord, the 
line beginning at the east side of my farm on the 
line betwixt me and the aforesaid Governier and 
running westwardly to the north of my barn and 
dwelling house and all other buildings except the 
aforesaid mill until it crosses the Mill Brook, and 
line then to run more to the south in course (case) 
a straight line will not make land enough to dis 
charge said debt, but to run no further west than 
the east fence of the old lot known by the name of 
the Old Ridge Lot, and secondly all the re 
mainder and residue of my said farm dwelling 
house and buildings and all and singular the ap 
purtenances thereunto belonging to remain in the 
hands of my executors for the use and benefit of 
Abigail Ludenton my wife and Abigail Luden- 
ton my daughter and Derie Ludenton my son 


and Cornelia Ludenton my Grand Daughter so 
long as Abigail Ludenton remains my widow or 
in case she should not marry, until her decease, 
unless the said Abigail Ludenton my daughter 
or said Derrick Ludenton my son or Cornelia 
Ludenton should marry or either of them should 
marry the said farm to remain only for the use 
and benefit of those who are unmarried untill my 
widdow should marry or untill her disceas as is 
above expressed; and in case my daughter Abi 
gail should not marry before the disceas of my 
widow she then at the deceas of my widow to take 
her choice of the Rooms in the Dwelling house 
wherein I live or when my widdow should marry 
which room she is to have and to hold as long as 
she remains single. All the remainder of my 
farm that is not set off for my executors to sell to 
discharge the debt of Samuel Governier, which 
land lying and being in the town of Frederick 
county aforesaid, I do give and bequeath unto 
my four sons Archibald Ludenton, Derrick Lud 
enton, Frederick Ludenton, Lewis Ludenton, to 
be equally divided amongst them in which case 
the said Ludinton and Ludenton is to pass unto 
Derrick Ludenton at the division thereof one 
hundred dollars wich farm of land they the said 
Archibald, Derrick, Frederick and Lewis Lud 
enton and their heirs is to have and to hold for 
ever with all the appertinances thereunto belong 
ing ; but it is my will that Derrick Ludenton my 
son s proportion of the farm to remain in the 
hands of my executors and for them to do as they 
shall judge best for him with it. And I do will 
and bequeath Tartulus Ludenton my son Fifteen 
Dollars to be paid out of removable property, and 



after said fifteen dollars is paid and all my debts 
that my land is not sold to pay is paid and dis 
charged, to pay which debts is my will that my 
executors should sell such and so much of the 
movable property they shall judge will least dis 
commode the heirs which the residue is left to and 
share who is to have the property, and it is my 
will that all movable property should remain in 
the hands of my widdow for her use and the use 
of Derrick Ludenton my son, Abigail my daugh 
ter, to remain as the use of the farm is above 
discribed to remain in the hands of my executors 
for the use and benefit of Abigail Ludenton my 
wife and Abigail Ludenton my daughter and 
Derrick Ludenton my son and Cornelia Luden 
ton my grand daughter untill my wife marries or 
untill her disceas, unless Abigail, Derrick or Cor 
nelia or one of them should marry, and the one 
that marries is to have use and benefit no longer 
of said property until disposed of as is hereafter 
directed. And I do will and bequeath unto my 
six daughters at the deceas or marriage of my 
widow all my movable property to be equally di 
vided amongst them, that is to say Sibyl Ogden, 
Rebecca Pratt, May Ferris, Anna Colwell, Abi 
gail Ludenton and Sophiah Caverly my daugh 

And for the further surety of this my last will 
and testament I nominate and appoint John Hop 
kins of the town of Fishkill, County of Dutch- 
ess and State of New York, and Elijah Wixon 
of the town of Fredericks and County of Putnam 
and State aforesaid my sole executors of this my 
last will and testiment and I do hereby disallow, 
revoke and annull all and singular every other 


former will testament and bequeath and executors 
by me in any wise before mentioned willed and 
bequeath, ratifying and allowing this and no 
other to be my last will and testiment. In witness 
whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 
seventh day of April in the year of Our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and thirteen. 


Signed sealed and pronounced 
in presence of us 

Stephen Merritt 
John Burtch. 

An interesting side-light is cast upon one feature 
of this will, as well as upon the later years of Col 
onel Ludington s life and the years following his 
death, by a letter written in April, 1881, to Mr. Pa 
trick by Mrs. Julia L. Comfort, of Catskill, New 
York, a daughter of Colonel Ludington s son, Ter- 
tullus Ludington. Speaking of the old homestead 
at Frederickstown, and the members of the family 
there, Mrs. Comfort said : 

I was so young when last there, and conse 
quently do not remember much about them. It 
was the winter before Grandma Luddington 
died. She gave my Mother Grandfather s gun 
and sword, and I think the powder horn to my 
brother Henry because he was named after him. 
They were all mounted with silver. The first 


time we were there was in the fall when chestnuts 
were ripe. There was a very large tree in the rear 
of the house, and Uncle Fred s children, my sister 
and myself wished to get the chestnuts but could 
not. Grandma wanted Uncle Derrick to cut the 
tree down for us, but he said it would take two 
weeks to do it, it was so large. 

My Father was with us, and Grandfather said 
to him, (he always called him Tarty,) "I am 
going to make a will, and I owe you for five bar 
rels of pork, but as I have not got the money just 
now I w r ill remember it in my will." (It was in 
war time (War of 1812) and pork was selling 
for thirty dollars a barrel.) Father told him he 
might give it to Archie, as he was very poor and 
Father was doing a good business and did not 
need it, but Archie said he never rec d a cent of it. 

The last time Aunt Ogden was here, she was 
telling us how she and Aunt Sophia (probably 
a slip of the pen for Rebecca) were alone in the 
house in war time (Revolutionary War). They 
had had a fence built around the house, and they 
each had a gun, and once in a while they would 
fire one off to make the soldiers think there were 
men in the house. 



IT has already been observed that the earlier gen 
erations of the Ludington family, in colonial 
days, were prolific ; as, indeed, the Ludingtons of the 
Old Country are said to have been. In revolutionary 
days, Comfort, Elisha, Stephen, and other collateral 
relatives of his were the comrades of Henry Luding 
ton in the war and his neighbors in Dutchess and the 
adjoining counties. Their descendants, and the de 
scendants of those of Colonel Ludington s twelve 
children who married and had issue, have been nu 
merous, and many of them have made their mark in 
contemporary affairs in various parts of the land. It 
is not the purpose of this work, nor would its compass 
permit it, to give any detailed chronicle of all the 
ramifications of the family. Brief notices of a few 
of its members follow. Let us first deal with some of 
a collateral line. 

Colonel Henry Ludington married, as already 
noted, his cousin Abigail Ludington. Her brother, 
Comfort Ludington, who has been mentioned as a 
soldier in the Revolution, had a son named Zalmon, 


who in turn had a son also named Zalmon. The last 
named was a soldier in the War of 1812; in 1818 he 
went to Virginia, and four years later married Lo- 
vina Hagan, of Preston County. Three of his chil 
dren are still living, namely: Mrs. M. L. Patrick, of 
Louisville, Kentucky; Dr. Horace Ludington, of 
Omaha, Nebraska; and General Marshall I. Lud 
ington, U. S. A. Another, Colonel Elisha H. Lud 
ington, U. S. A., died in 1891. Zalmon Ludington 
himself lived to be more than ninety years of age, 
and at the age of eighty-eight was able to make an 
important public address in the city of Phila 

One of the sons of Zalmon Ludington, Elisha H. 
Ludington, entered the United States Army as a cap 
tain in 1861, did important field service with the 
Army of the Potomac in 1863, being engaged in the 
battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and for 
"gallant and meritorious service" in the latter con 
flict was bre vetted a major on July 2, 1863. On 
March 13, 1865, he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel 
"for meritorious services during the war," and also 
colonel on the same date "for faithful and merito 
rious services in his department." He served at 
Washington and elsewhere as assistant inspector- 
general until his retirement for disability on March 
27, 1879, and died on January 21, 1891. 

Marshall I. Ludington was born in Somerset 
County, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1839, and entered 
the army as captain of volunteers and acting quar- 

Son of Col. Henry Ludington. 


termaster-general on October 20, 1862. Like his 
brother he served in the Chancellorsville and Gettys 
burg campaigns, in the Wilderness, and at Peters 
burg, and then became chief quartermaster at Wash 
ington. In January, 1867, he became major and 
quartermaster in the regular army, and served in 
various places and was successively promoted until 
in 1898 he was made brigadier-general and quarter 
master-general of the United States Army, with 
headquarters at Washington. For several years he 
had been acting quartermaster-general, but had not 
enjoyed full authority to organize the department 
according to his own ideas. Consequently, when he 
became quartermaster-general, only four days before 
the declaration of war with Spain, he was confronted 
with a task of peculiar difficulty, for which he had 
not been able to make satisfactory preparations such 
as had been made in other branches of the service. 
Before he retired from the office, however, he had so 
perfected the organization and equipment as to make 
the department a model which military experts from 
Europe were glad to study. He served until July 4, 
1903, when he was retired under the law for age, with 
the rank of major-general, U. S. A. Since his re 
tirement he has lived at Skaneateles, N. Y. 

Mention has been made of Frederick Ludington, 
son of Colonel Henry Ludington, who with his 
brother Lewis engaged for a time in general mer 
chandising at Frederickstown, or Kent, N. Y. He 
married Susannah Griffith, and among their children 



was a son to whom they gave the name of Harrison, 
in honor of the general who was just then winning 
distinction in the United States Army and who after 
ward became President. Harrison Ludington was 
born at Kent, New York, on July 31, 1812, and 
served for a time as a clerk in his father s and uncle s 
store. In 1838 he removed to Milwaukee, Wiscon 
sin, in company with his uncle, Lewis Ludington, 
and there engaged in general merchandising, in part 
nership with his uncle Lewis and later with his 
younger brother, Nelson. They also had extensive 
interests in the lumber trade. Withdrawing from 
their firm, he formed a partnership with Messrs. D. 
Wells and A. G. Van Schaick, in the same business, 
with extensive lumber mills on Green Bay. He was 
for many years conspicuously identified with the de 
velopment of the city of Milwaukee, and as the pro 
prietor of a "general store" is said to have purchased 
the first bag of wheat ever brought to market at that 
place. He served for two terms as an alderman of 
Milwaukee, and in 1872-75 was mayor of that city. 
His admirable administration of municipal affairs 
fixed the attention of the whole State upon him, and 
as a result he was elected governor for the two years 
1876 and 1877. He filled that office with distin 
guished success, but at the end of his single term re 
tired from public life and resumed his manufactur 
ing pursuits, in which he continued until his death, 
which occurred at Milwaukee on June 17, 1891. 
George Ludington, second son of Frederick Lud- 


G-nvETnoT nf Wisconsin, 1B7B-7B. 
Grandson of Cal. Henry Ludington, 


Ington, and grandson of Colonel Henry Ludington, 
was born in Putnam County and spent his life there. 
He married Emeline C. Travis. For some years he 
occupied and conducted the store which had formerly 
been managed by his father and uncle, as already 
related, and afterward became cashier of the Bank 
of Kent, later known as the Putnam County 
National Bank, a place which he filled until his 

A great-grandson of Colonel Henry Ludington, 
through his son Frederick and the latter s daughter 
Caroline, is Lewis S. Patrick, formerly in govern 
ment service at Washington but now and for many 
years living at Marinette, Wisconsin. To his pains 
taking and untiring labors must be credited the col 
lection of a large share of the data upon which this 
memoir of his ancestor is founded. 

Sibyl Ludington, Colonel Ludington s oldest 
daughter, who married Henry Ogden, a lawyer of 
Catskill, N. Y., (elsewhere called Edward and Ed 
mund,) went to live at Unadilla, N. Y., and bore 
four sons and two daughters. The distinguished 
career of one of these sons may well be told in a 
quotation from the "New York Observer" of October 
18, 1855, as follows: 

Major Edmund A. Ogden, of the United 
States army, who recently died of cholera at Fort 
Riley, Kansas Territory, was born at Catskill, 
N. Y., Feb. 20th, 1810. Soon after, he removed 


to Unadilla, N. Y., where he remained until he 
entered the United States Military Academy. 
On graduating, he was attached as brevet Second 
Lieutenant to the First Regiment of Infantry, 
then stationed at Prairie du Chien. He was sub 
sequently appointed a First Lieutenant in the 
Eighth Infantry, where he served until appointed 
a Captain in the Quartermaster s Department, in 
which corps he remained until his death. He 
served with credit and distinction through the 
Black Hawk, Florida and Mexican wars, and 
was created a Major by brevet, for meritorious 
conduct in the last named of these wars. 

His services, ever faithfully performed, have 
been arduous and responsible. He has disbursed 
for the government millions of the public money ; 
he has labored hard, and always to the purpose, 
and after giving to his country five and twenty 
years of hard and useful service, he has died poor. 

For the last six years previous to last spring, 
Major Ogden w r as stationed at Fort Leaven- 
worth, where he has rendered important service 
to the army in his capacity of Quartermaster. 
From this post he was ordered to California, and 
he removed with his family to New York with the 
expectation of embarking on the 20th of April 
last, when his orders were suddenly suspended, 
and he was sent back to assist in outfitting the ex 
pedition against the Sioux Indians. He was 
afterwards charged with the arduous duty of 
erecting, within three months, barracks, quarters 
and stables for a regiment of troops at Fort Riley 
a point about 150 miles west of Leaven worth, 
and which he had himself selected as a suitable 
place for a government post, when stationed at 






Fort Leavenworth. This place was not settled, 
and was an almost perfect wilderness. He took 
with him about five hundred mechanics and la 
borers, with tools and provisions, and commenced 
his labors. In a new and unsettled country, so 
destitute of resources, many obstacles were en 
countered, but just as they were being overcome, 
and the buildings were progressing, cholera in its 
most fatal and frightful form made its appear 
ance among the men, from two to four of them 
dying every day. Far removed from homes and 
kindred, and accustomed to depend upon Major 
Ogden for the supply of their daily wants, they 
turned to him in despair for relief from the pesti 
lence. He labored among them night and day, 
nursing the sick and offering consolation to the 
dying. At last the heavy hand of death was laid 
upon him, and worn out with care, watching 
and untiring labors, he fell a victim to the 
disease whose ravages he had in vain attempted 
to stay. 

In the death of this officer the army has lost one 
who was an ornament to its list ; his own corps has 
lost one of its most efficient members one whom 
they appreciated, and whom they delighted to 
praise. Among his associates in the army there is 
but one sentiment that of regret for his loss and 
admiration for his professional and private char 
acter, and love for his estimable qualities. His 
associates in the army are not the only sufferers ; 
but many and many in various parts of the 
land have lost a warm and true friend, and the 
country has lost an honest man and a Christian 
soldier. . . . 

In the hour of death, far from all he most loved 


on earth, he was cheered by his Christian hope. 
His faith was unshaken and enduring, and 
proved capable of supporting him in that last sad 
hour. Although weak and exhausted, he repeated 
the Lord s Prayer audibly, and said to his friend 
the chaplain, who was by his side, "Tell my 
dear wife and children to try and meet me in 
heaven," and then sank sweetly and quietly to 

So died the Christian soldier, in the vigor of 
manhood, and at the post of duty. Bound as he 
was by so many tender ties to this earth, not a 
murmur escaped his lips, but he met his summons 
with a cheerful resignation to that Providence 
whose dealings he had recognized through life, 
and in whom he trusted in death. . . . 

It is interesting to note the evidences of the 
estimation in which Major Ogden was held at 
Fort Riley by the residents and the men in his 
employ. The following is an extract from The 
Kansas Herald of the 10th: 

"The death of Major Ogden left a deep gloom 
upon the spirits of all the men, which time does 
not obliterate. His tender solicitude for the 
spiritual and bodily welfare of those under him; 
his unceasing labors with the sick, and his forget- 
fulness of self in attendance upon others, until 
he was laid low, have endeared his memory to 
every one there. And, as a token of affection, 
they are now engaged in erecting a fine monu 
ment which shall mark their appreciation of the 
departed. The monument, which will be of the 
native stone of the locality, is to be placed on one 
of the high promontories at Fort Riley, and can 
be seen from many a distant point by those ap- 






preaching the place. It will bear the following 
inscription : 

"Erected to the memory of 

the founder of Fort Riley; 

a disinterested patriot and a generous friend; 

a refined gentleman; a devoted husband 

and father, 
and an exemplary Christian. 

Few men were more respected in their lives, or 
more lamented in their deaths. As much the vic 
tim of duty as of disease, he calmly closed a life, 
in the public service, distinguished for integrity 
and faithfulness. 


Assistant Quartermaster, United States Army, 
departed this life, at Fort Riley, August 3d, 
1855, in the forty-fourth year of his age. 

And I heard a voice saying unto me, write, 
blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from 
henceforth. Yea, saith the spirit, that they may 
rest from their labors ; and their works do follow 

A younger brother of Major Edmund Ogden was 
Richard Ludington Ogden, who became a captain in 


the United States Army, and was an extensive and 
adventurous traveler. 

The sixth son and youngest child of Colonel Henry 
Ludington was Lewis Ludington, who was born 
in Fredericksburgh on June 25, 1786. At the age of 
twenty he engaged with his elder brother Frederick 
in conducting a general store near their home. A 
few years later he married Polly Townsend, the 
daughter and oldest child of Samuel Townsend and 
his wife Keturah Crosby. The Townsends had come 
to Dutchess County many years before from Long 
Island, and Polly Townsend s great-grandfather, 
Elihu Townsend, settled on a farm in South East 
Precinct, close to the Westchester County line. He 
died about 1804, at the age of 102 years, and was able 
to walk about the yard six weeks before his death. 
For several years after their marriage Lewis and 
Polly Townsend Ludington lived in a cottage near 
the Ludington homestead at Fredericksburgh, or 
Kent, as it was then renamed. Then, in the spring 
of 1816, they removed to the village of Carmel, where 
soon after Lewis Ludington bought property which 
is still owned by members of the family. In the fall 
of 1855 he completed and occupied the house which 
is still the family homestead. The wood of which this 
house was built was cut on lands owned by Mr. Lud 
ington in Wisconsin, was sawed in his mills at 
Oconto in that State, and was shipped from Green 
Bay to Buffalo in the lake schooner Lewis Luding 
ton. This circumstance suggests the fact that Lewis 

Son of Cnl, Henry Ludington, 

;From portrait by Frank B. Carpenter.) 


Ludington was strongly identified with business in 
terests in Wisconsin. He went West in the fall of 
1838, in company with his nephew, Harrison Lud 
ington, already mentioned, and Harvey Burchard, 
of Carmel, N. Y. They visited Milwaukee, which 
was then a mere village, and during that winter made 
several long trips on horseback through the interior 
of Wisconsin, for the purpose of selecting govern 
ment lands. They purchased extensive tracts, largely 
with a view to the lumber trade, and in 1839 they 
formed at Milwaukee the general mercantile firm of 
Ludington, Burchard & Co., of which Lewis Lud 
ington was the eldest and Harrison Ludington the 
youngest member. A year or two later Burchard re 
tired and the firm became Ludington & Co., Harri 
son s younger brother Nelson being taken into it. 
Nelson Ludington, by the way, was afterward presi 
dent of the Fifth National Bank of Chicago, and for 
many years was at the head of large and successful 
lumbering and manufacturing interests and was 
prominent in commercial life in Chicago. For nearly 
twenty years Lewis Ludington was the head of 
the firm of Ludington & Co., which was one of the 
foremost in Milwaukee, and which conducted what 
was for those days a business of great magnitude. 
The firm also had lumber mills at Oconto and docks 
at Milwaukee. About 1843, Lewis Ludington 
bought a tract of land in Columbia County, Wiscon 
sin, and in July of the following year laid out there 
on the city of Columbus. For many years he per- 



sonally directed and encouraged the development of 
the new community, which grew to be a city of con 
siderable population and wealth. 

Thus for almost a quarter of a century Mr. Lud- 
ington conducted a number of enterprises in Wiscon 
sin, enjoying at all times the respect and confidence 
of those who knew him and ranking among the best 
representative citizens of the two States with which 
he was identified. He was a Whig in politics, and ex 
erted much influence in party councils, especially 
opposing the extension of slavery, but would never 
accept public office, though frequently urged to do 
so. He died on September 3, 1857, at Kenosha, Wis 
consin, and his remains were interred in the family 
lot in Raymond Hill Cemetery, at Carmel, N. Y. 

The fifth child of Lewis Ludington is Charles 
Henry Ludington, who was born at Carmel, N. Y., 
on February 1, 1825. Among the schools which he 
attended in boyhood was one conducted in the former 
home of "Peter Parley" at Ridgefield, Conn. In 
1842 he became a clerk in a wholesale dry-goods 
store in New York, and later was for many years a 
member of a leading firm in that same business 
the firm of Lathrop, Ludington & Co., at first on 
Cortlandt Street, and afterward on Park Row. A 
considerable portion of the business of this firm was 
with the southern States, but a few years before the 
Civil War its name was published in the notorious 
"black-list" of the pro-slavery Secessionists, as an 
"Abolitionist" concern, and as a result all trade with 

Grandson of Col, Henry Ludington. 


that section of the country was ended. The "black 
list" at first comprised only the names of Bo wen, 
Holmes & Co., Lathrop, Ludington & Co., and a few 
others, but in time was increased until it embraced 
about forty of the leading houses in wholesale lines 
in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and was 
widely published throughout the South, to injure if 
possible the business of those who, like Bo wen, 
Holmes & Co., "sold their goods but not their prin 
ciples." Of course the outbreak of the war ended 
what little trade remained for these houses in the 
South, but Lathrop, Ludington & Co. more than re 
couped elsewhere the losses of their southern trade, 
and before the end of the war had become the third 
leading firm in that line in New York. Mr. Luding 
ton was an ardent upholder of the Union. Unable 
himself to go to the war as a soldier, he employed and 
sent a substitute, and his firm contributed large sums 
for the recruiting and equipping of troops in New 
York City and in Putnam County. Retiring in 
1868, he has since that time been engaged in various 
personal enterprises in New York and in the West. 

James Ludington, the sixth child of Lewis Lud 
ington, was born at Carmel, on April 18, 1827, went 
to Milwaukee in 1843, worked in the establishment 
of Ludington & Co., aided his father in founding the 
town of Columbus, and was for a time his father s 
resident agent there. Later, at Milwaukee, he was 
treasurer of a railroad company and vice-president 
of the Bank of the West at Madison, Wisconsin. In 



1859 he acquired extensive sawmills at the mouth of 
the Pere Marquette River, in Michigan, and there 
founded the city of Ludington. He died on April 1, 

In addition to the impress thus widely made upon 
the military, political, business and other history of the 
United States by members of the family, the name of 
Ludington, in memory of the influence and achieve 
ments of those who have borne it, is honorably in 
scribed upon the maps of no fewer than four of the 
States. A village of Putnam County, at the site of 
the old homestead of colonial and revolutionary times, 
bears, as we have seen, the name of Ludingtonville 
at once a tribute to the Ludington family and an un 
fortunate example of the unhappy American habit, 
now less prevalent than formerly, of adding "ville" 
to local names. Far better was the bestowal of the 
simple and sufficient name of Ludington upon the 
lake port in Michigan, referred to in the preceding 
notice of James Ludington s life. The same name is 
borne by a village in the parish of Calcasieu, in south 
western Louisiana, while the part the Ludington 
family played in the settlement and upbuilding of 
the State of Wisconsin is commemorated in the name 
of a village in Eau Claire County, which retains an 
old and familiar variant of spelling, Luddington. 

The quoted tribute to the English Ludingtons of 
former centuries, with which this volume was begun, 
might well, mutatis mutandis., be recalled at its close 
for application to the Ludingtons of America. The 


boast of being of "great estate" is worthily matched 
with the record of having contributed something of 
substantial value to the common wealth of the Great 
Republic, and travels in Eastern lands are rivalled 
with travels and labors in the greater regions of the 
West ; while even wars against the Paynim and loy 
alty to the King did not surpass in merit the war for 
liberty and independence and loyalty to the intrinsic 
rights of man. In this view of the case, it is con 
fidently hoped that not only for the sake of family 
affection, but also for its historical interest, it will be 
deemed worth the while to have told thus briefly and 
simply the story of Henry Ludington. 



Aikins, David, affidavit of, 137 
Angell, Col. Israel, quoted, 168 
Arnold, Seymour, petition of, 183 

Beatty, Col. W., 166 

"Birch, Harvey," 114 

Border Warfare in Revolution, 133 

Branford, Conn., 24 

Brinckerhoff, Col. Dirck, replies to 

Clinton, 99 

Burgoyne s surrender, 106 
Burke s Heraldry, quoted, 4 
Byington, John, affidavit of, 34 

Chatterton Hill, see White Plains 
Clinton, Fort, capture of, 105 
Clinton, George, commander of 
militia, 178; order to Colonel 
Graham, 86; troubled by dis 
affection of militia, 92; diffi 
culties in raising levies, 94; or 
ders to Colonel Ludington, 96; 
orders countermanded, 97; meets 
disaster at Fort Montgomery, 
105; urges defense of Hudson, 
106; letters to Colonel Luding 
ton, 160, 170, 179, 185; to Col 
onel Hopkins, 173; to Colonel 
Van Bunschoten, 181 ; to General 
Swartwout, 181 
Clinton, Sir Henry, 105 
Clinton, James, 105 
Colony Record of Deeds, of Con 
necticut, quoted, 20 
Comfort, Mrs. Julia L., letter to 

Mr. Patrick, 213 
Cooper, James Fenimore, quoted, 


Cowing, Daniel, petition of, 183 
Crabb, John, arrest of, 143 
Crosby, Enoch, original of "Har 
vey Birch," 115; narrative of his 
services as American spy, 118 

Dana, Francis, at Colonel Luding- 
ton s, 167 

Danbury, Conn., raiding of, 88 

Dates, uncertainties of, 10 

De Kalb, Baron, 166 

De Peyster, General, quoted, 105 

Dieskau, Baron, 27, 28, 29 

Dimon, Lieutenant Colonel, arrests 
traitors, 143 

Dodd s "East Haven Register," 
quoted, 19, 22, 26 

Domesday Book, Ludington men 
tioned in, 6 

Duer, William, 55, 56, 57, 75, 134 

Dutchess County, N. Y., divisions 
of, 36, 58; population of, 40; offi 
cers of and their oaths, 41 ; revo 
lutionary passions in, 49; Com 
mittee of Safety of, 49; text of 
patriotic compact in, 52; militia 
organizations of, 61, 70; services 
of miltia of, 72; militia urged to 
service in, 87; scene of border 
warfare and raids, 133; a danger 
spot, 139; freeholders address to 
the Legislature, 153 

East Haven, Conn., 13 

Ellery, William), whimsical account 

of a night at Colonel Luding- 

ton s, 166 

Farmer s List of Ancient Names, 

quoted, 7 
Foote s company, 2nd Connecticut 

Regiment, 26 
Fredericksburgh, town of, 37; 

much visited by troops, 165 
Frederickstown, 36, 58, 59 

Goodrich, Col. Elizur, 26 
Gray s genealogical work, quoted, 



Hamilton, Alexander, on burning 
of Danbury, 91; voted for by 
Colonel Ludington, 199; report 
in behalf of Colonel Ludington, 

Hendrick, Mohawk chieftain, 27, 28 

Hoadly s New Haven Colonial 
Records, quoted, 15 

Holmes, Col. John, Tory agent, 
147; Colonel Ludington s letter 
about, 148; captured by Colonel 
Ludington, 150 

Hopewell, ship, 7 

Hopkins, Col. Roswell, letter to 
Clinton, 171; experience with a 
press master, 174; resigns com 
mission, 176 

Iron works at East Haven, Conn., 

Irving, Washington, quoted, 169 

Jay, John, 51, 55, 75, 125, 141, 208 
Johnson, Major General Sir Will 
iam, 27 

Kane, Kain, or Keane, John, 

treated as a Tory, 169 
"Kansas Herald," quoted, 222 
Kent, N. Y., town of, 37 
Kingston, N. Y., state capital, 

menaced by the British, 105; 

burned, 106, 161 

Lake George, Battle of, 27 
Lossing, Benson J., quoted, 169 
Loyalists, or Tories, 47, 73 
Luddington, Wisconsin, 228 
Ludington, Louisiana, 228 
Ludington, Michigan, 228 
Ludingtonville, N. Y., origin of, 

38 ; name of, 228 
Ludington family, 3, 4, 5 
Ludington Hospital, 6 
Ludington, various forms of the 

name, 5 

Ludington, Abigail, 22, 35, 209 
Ludington, Archibald, 45, 204 
jLudington, Charles Henry, MS. 

collections quoted, 192, 204; 

career of, 226 
Ludington, Christian, 7 

Ludington, Christopher, 8 

Ludington, Comfort, Revolution 
ary soldier, 72, 82, 215 

Ludington, Elisha, Revolutionary 
soldier, 71 

Ludington, Col. Elisha H., 216 

Ludington, Ellen, 8; remarriage, 17 

Ludington, Frederick, birth, 45; 
career, 217 

Ludington, George, 218 

Ludington, Harrison, Governor, 218 

Ludington, Henry 1st, son of 
William 2nd, 20, 21; his chil 
drenDaniel, 21; Ezra, 21; Col 
lins, 21; William, 21; Sarah, 21; 
Dinah, 21 ; Lydia, 21 ; Nathaniel, 
22; Moses, 22; Aaron, 22; Elisha, 
22; Sarah, 22; Thomas, 22 

Ludington, Col. Henry, birth of, 
22; at Branford, Conn., 24; boy 
hood and schooling, 25; enlists in 
French and Indian War, 25; at 
Battle of Lake George, 27; dates 
of reenlistments, 30; at Quebec, 
30; winter march to Boston, 30; 
commissioned lieutenant, 31 ; 
captain in Beverly Robinson s 
regiment, 31 ; recorded as "De 
serted," 31 ; affidavits concern 
ing his service, 33; marriage and 
settlement in New York, 35; 
house and mills, 39; important 
location of his home, 40; oaths 
as sub-sheriff, 41; service as sub- 
sheriff, 44; his children, 45; en 
ters revolutionary movement, 52; 
under orders of Committee of 
Safety, 56; territorial command 
as militia colonel, 59; work in 
organizing militia, 66; various 
commissions in army, 67; suc 
ceeds Colonel Morrison, 68; for 
mation of his regiment, 70; 
organization, 73; letter to Pro 
vincial Congress of New York, 
74; enters Revolutionary War, 
77; at Battle of White Plains, 
81; intercourse with Washing 
ton, 82; stationed at North 
Castle, 85; avenges burning of 
Danbury, 89; summoned to de 
fend the Highlands of the Hud- 



son, 91 ; sent to Westchester 
County, 96; recalled to Peekskill, 
98; difficulty in complying with 
orders, 100; foils British at 
Tarrytown, 101 ; plans defense of 
Highlands, 106; letter to Clin 
ton about difficulty of raising 
troops, 107; returns of his regi 
ment, 109; action at Crom Pond, 
109; temporary disbandment of 
regiment, 110; secret service, 
114; relations with "the spy, 
Harvey Birch," otherwise Enoch 
Crosby, 115; instructions from 
Colonel Sackett, 115; engage 
ment of Benajah Tubbs, 116; 
gives letter to Enoch Crosby, 
132; services in border warfare, 
134; road-building for forage 
parties, 135; captures Nicker- 
son s party, 138; in Westchester 
County, 142; gives "character" to 
a Tory, 144; arrests Elijah 
Taylor, 145; address to Council 
of Safety, 147; letter to Clinton 
about Col. John Holmes, 148; 
captures Holmes, 150; hated by 
the Tories, 156; prize offered for 
his capture, 157; feud with Dr. 
Prosser, 158; letter to Clinton, 
159; humanity toward Tories, 
162; embarrassed with depre 
ciated currency, 166; William 
Ellery and Francis Dana at his 
house, 166; letter to Clinton 
about militia, 177; challenged to 
fight a duel, 179; retained on 
duty in Westchester County, 
180; letter to Clinton with peti 
tion of deserters, 183; letters to 
Clinton on burdens of militia, 
185, 186; abstract of pay-roll, 
187; affidavit on accounts, 188; 
purchase of bounty lands, 189; 
end of military service, 190; 
deputy sheriff and justice of the 
peace, 191 ; text of commission as 
justice of the peace, 194; service 
in New York Legislature, 198; 
Federalist and friend of Hamil 
ton, 199; petition for relief in 
case of missing certificates, 199; 

votes against independence of 
Vermont, 202; builder of im 
proved road, 202; retires from 
colonelcy, 203; buys and sells 
land at Frederickstown, 206; in 
terest in church and school, 208; 
personal traits, 208; death and 
burial, 208 ; simple epitaph, 209 ; 
Blake s tribute, 209; text of his 
will, 209 

Ludington, Henry, Jr., 45, 204 

Ludington, Horace, M.D., 216 

Ludington, James, 227 

Ludington, Lewis, 45, 217, 218; his 
career, 224; death, 226 

Ludington, Gen. Marshall I., 216 

Ludington, Nelson, 218, 225 

Ludington, Rebecca, birth, 45; 
marriage, 45; service as sentry, 

Ludington, Robert, 3; Sir John, 5; 
Thomas, 5; Stephen, 5; Eliza 
beth, 5 

Ludington, Sibyl, birth, 45; mar 
riage, 45; ride to summon troops 
to avenge burning of Danbury, 
90; aids Enoch Crosby the spy, 
132; service as sentry, 157; her 
children, 219 

Ludington, Stephen, Revolutionary 
soldier, 71 

Ludington, Tertullus, 45, 213 

Ludington, Thomas, of Newark, 
N. J., 18; John, 19; James, 19; 
John, of Vermont, 19; Mary, 19; 
Henry, 19; Hannah, 19; Mat 
thew, 20 

Ludington, William 1st, at Charles- 
town and Maiden, 8; deed of 
land from Ralph Hall, 11; cred 
itor of Henry Sandyes, 12; re 
moval to East Haven, 12; death, 
13; inventory of estate, 15; chil 
dren, 18 

Ludington, William 2nd, 19; Hen 
ry, 20; Eleanor, 20; William 3rd, 
20; Samuel, 20; Timothy, 21; 
Mercy, 21; Mary, 21; Hannah, 
21 ; John, 21 ; Jude, 21 ; Eliphalet, 
21; Amos, 21; Elizabeth, 21; 
Dorothy, 21 ; Dorcas, 21 

Ludington, William, son of Henry, 



21, 22; Submit, 22; Mary, 22; 

Henry, 22; Lydia, 22; Samuel, 

22; Rebecca, 22; Anne, 22; 

Stephen, 22 
Ludington, William, Revolutionary 

soldier, 72 

Ludington, Zalmon, 215 
Ludington, Zalmon, Jr., 216 
Lyman, General, 28 

Militia, organization of, in New 
York, 60; in Dutchess and 
Westchester counties, 61; pay 
of, 62; a sample muster-roll, 63; 
Colonel Ludington s regiment 
formed, 70; called out by Con 
gress, 72; commanded by George 
Clinton, 78; ordered to High 
lands of Hudson, 79; at White 
Plains, 81; defending the Hud 
son, 84; restless when waiting, 
92; difficulties in raising levies, 
95; reluctance to serve, 98; radi 
cal reorganization, 111; abolition 
of office of colonel, 203 
Montgomery, Fort, capture of, 105 
Morrison, Malcolm, resigns com 
mission, 68; arrested on suspi 
cion of treason, 138 

New Haven Probate Records, 
quoted, 19 

New York, counties of, 36; boun 
dary dispute with Connecticut, 
37; sentiment at beginning of 
Revolution, 47; patriotic organ 
izations, 51 ; action of Provincial 
Congress, 54; vigilance commit 
tees against Tories, 55; organiza 
tion of militia, 60; changes of 
government, 70; militia called 
out, 72 

Nickerson, "Josh," 138 

Oblong, The, 37 

"Observer, The New York," 

quoted, 219 

Ogden, Major Edmund A., 219 
Ogden, Edward, Edmund, or 

Henry, 45 
Ogden, Richard Ludington, 223 

Patrick, Lewis S., MS. collections 
and researches, quoted, 8, 13, 19, 
30, 52, 168, 189, 194, 207, 213; 
ancestry and genealogical work, 

Patrick, Mrs. M. L., 216 

Pawling, N. Y., town of, 36 

Pope s Pioneers of Massachusetts, 
quoted, 14 

Prosser, Dr., Tory conspirator, 126, 
132; tries to capture Colonel 
Ludington, 157; their feud, 158 

Putnam County, N. Y., origin of, 

Putnam, Gen. Israel, order to mili 
tia, 93; abandons Peekskill, 105; 
orders to Colonel Ludington, 142 

Quaker Hill, 37, 50 
Quakers, attitude of, in Revolu 
tion, 50 

Read, Jacob, arrest of, 146 
Records of the Proprietors of New 

Haven, quoted, 17, 18 
Revolution, The, beginning of, 47; 
Henry Ludington s services in, 

Robinson, Beverly, 31, 45, 169 
Rochambeau, Count, guest at Col 
onel Ludington s, 166 
Rose, John, 18 

Sackett, Col. Nathaniel, commis 
sioned to suppress conspiracies, 
85, 87 ; secret service instructions 
to Colonel Ludington, 115 

Savage s Genealogical Register, 
quoted, 8 

Scribner, Col. Nathaniel, muster- 
roll, 63 

Secret service in the Revolution, 
114; Benajah Tubbs, 116; Enoch 
Crosby s narrative, 117 

Sequestration of lands, 150; com 
missioners of, 151 

Shrawley, Ludingtons of, 3 

"Spy, The," 114 

Stirling, Lord, 45 

Sutherland, David, 173 

Swartwout, Jacobus, General, 67 

234 3 


Tarrytown, British landing at, 101 
Taylor, Elijah, arrest of, 145 
Tories, definition of, 48; their 
hatred of Colonel Ludington, 
156; his humanity toward them, 
162; severe decree against them, 

Tryon, William, last British gov 
ernor of New York, 31; raids 
Danbury, 88; lands at Tarry- 
town, 103 

Tubbs, Benajah, employed as a 
spy, 116 

Van Bunschoten, Col. E., letter to 

Clinton, 180 
Vaughan, General, burns Kingston, 


Washington, George, has Colonel 
Ludington for aide at White 

Plain, 82; marches across New 
Jersey, 83; urges defense of 
Highlands, 92; gives warning of 
Howe s designs, 94 ; guest at Col 
onel Ludington s, 165; head 
quarters at Colonel Ludington s, 

Westchester County, N. Y., militia 
in, 76; Colonel Ludington s ser 
vices in, 96, 142 

Wheaton, Jehoidah, affidavit of, 33 
White Plains, Battle of, 76, 80; 

Colonel Ludington at, 81 
Whiting, Col. Nathan, 26, 28 
Williams, Daniel, letter to Clin 
ton, 182 

Williams, Col. Ephraim, 28 
Worcester, Ludington memorial at, 


Wyman s Records of Charlestown 
and Maiden, 14 

RETURN TO the circulation desk of any 
University of California Library 
or to the 

Bldg. 400, Richmond Field Station 
University of California 
Richmond, CA 94804-4698 

2-month loans may be renewed by calling 

1-year loans may be recharged by bringing books 

to NRLF 
Renewals and recharges may be made 4 days 

prior to due date 





MAR 10 1998